Architecture/landscape firm Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates (TSW) recently completed a master plan for Atlanta’s Loring Heights neighborhood.
The effort was sponsored by the Loring Heights Neighborhood Association (LHNA), which wanted to establish a proactive vision for their neighborhood’s future.  The comprehensive plan addresses land use and zoning, transportation, environment, infrastructure and urban design. Both LHNA and Neighborhood Planning Unit E have recently approved the plan, which will be presented to the Atlanta City Council this spring.
“We were extremely pleased with the guidance, suggestions and overall knowledge of the planning process that Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh brought to this project,” said Ron Grunwald, immediate past president of LHNA.  “Caleb Racicot and the TSW team understood our goals and were able to synthesize many disparate comments from the community into a cohesive, top-quality document that will be used to take the vision of our community to the next step.”
Loring Heights is a 277-acre Intown neighborhood just west of Midtown, bounded on the west by Northside Drive, on the northeast by I-75, and on the southeast by the Norfolk Southern rail corridor.  It includes approximately 330 single-family homes, along with apartments, and industrial and commercial buildings.  Most of the homes in its residential core were built in the 1940s.
TSW senior principal Caleb Racicot said completion of nearby Atlantic Station and the BeltLine project planned for the neighborhood’s northwest border, means Loring Heights is poised to experience increased growth pressure in the coming decades, particularly on the under-utilized commercial and industrial areas that ring its residential core.
“LHNA wanted to take a proactive approach to guide future growth, rather than simply react to it,” Racicot said. “Their priority is to preserve and build on neighborhood strengths, address the challenges and take advantage of the area’s potential, without jeopardizing the residents’ quality of life.”
Through a community-based process that included opportunities for public input, incorporation of ongoing complementary planning efforts for the BeltLine and sound community design, TSW created a detailed master plan that outlines a framework for improved transportation upgrades, new sidewalks, traffic calming and bicycle projects, and protects the neighborhood core from the negative effects of speeding traffic.
The plan encompasses a diverse and sustainable mix of housing, business, shopping and open spaces, encouraging smart growth and redevelopment while protecting the neighborhood’s character.  It also addresses the neighborhood’s desire for connection to Atlantic Station via pedestrian walkways and bicycle trails.
“Loring Heights has an opportunity to create a stronger identity for itself and use redevelopment to actually improve the quality of life in the neighborhood, rather than detract from it,” said Racicot.  “We hope that the master plan will guide positive growth and development in Loring Heights for years to come, and serve as a model for other Intown neighborhoods.”