Art instructor Dean White teaches a class at Zone of Light Studio.

By Collin Kelley
INtown Editor

Tucked between Virginia-Highland and Morningside, is a neighborhood now known as the Floataway Community. You might know it better as Zonolite Road, just off Briarcliff, but the former industrial and warehouse district has quietly evolved into a thriving enclave of entrepreneurial businesses, eclectic restaurants and a beautifully renovated park.

Zonolite Road got its first big push with the renovation of a warehouse complex that was christened the Floataway in 1997. In 1998, Chefs Anne Quatrano and Clifford Harrison opened the still thriving Floataway Café in the space, and the reclamation of the neighborhood has been growing ever since.

There’s now a diverse tenant group in the four buildings that make up Floataway, such as artists, designers, animators, engineers, wellness specialists, entrepreneurs and restaurants. Some of the businesses include Go Productions, Brandshank Creative, Douglas & Company Hair Studio, Studio Lotus, Digital Additive, Intown Counseling & Wellness, Beacon Disability Advocates, Raven Prinz, Gearbox, Garnish & Gather and Z Café.

The success of the Floataway complex has brought more business to Zonolite Road, including the Quickshot Shooting Range, co-working space Desk and an art space for children and adults called Zone of Light Studio.

The courtyard of the Floataway Building.

The community’s “backyard” is Zonolite Park, a 12-acre forest with footpaths along Peachtree Creek for visitors to explore. Nickel Bottom Community Garden, located in the park’s meadow, is an ongoing project that has transformed the area from a former industrial brownfield site into a flourishing green space incorporating community gardens, a quiet pond and walkable trails.

Amy Wilson opened Zone of Light Studio more than a year ago and says the Floataway Community was just the area she was looking for to open her business.

“I wanted a weird, eclectic warehouse space,” Wilson said. “Finding Zonolite Road and having the park right there where we can run and play is perfect.”

The studio offers art instruction during school break days, art nights out, spring and summer camps, and customized themed occasions for children and adults year round, Wilson said.

To learn more about Zonolite Road and the Floataway Community visit floatawaycommunity.com.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.