Members of the board of the Buckhead Community Improvement District have tapped the brakes on a plan to build a 9-plus-acre park above Ga. 400 in order to talk more about the project.
The CID board originally was scheduled to consider a vote at a July 13 special meeting on whether to hire consultants to do detailed planning and concept design studies for the project, which one board member referred to as a $150 million project and previous reports have said could cost as much as $200 million.
But before the board took a vote, board member and Atlanta City Councilman Howard Shook said he didn’t believe the group had discussed the project sufficiently. He asked for a later board meeting to talk over the project before hiring any more consultants. “When is this board going to sit down and decide if we want to do this?” he asked.
Other board and staff members agreed to hold a separate meeting to discuss the project in more detail.
“Some of us are ahead of others on how we would make this happen … within our lifetimes,” board Vice Chairman John Lundeen said.
The CID is studying building a 9-plus-acre park above Ga. 400 and the Buckhead MARTA station that would run from the Atlanta Financial Center to the Buckhead Loop.
Board member Robin Loudermilk said that finding another 9 to 10 acres of land in Buckhead on which to build a park would prove very difficult. . “As you look around Buckhead, it doesn’t exist,” he said.
Still, he said the board should take a close look at the park proposal. “I do think we want to vet it,” he said. “This is going to be legacy.”
Shook said he wanted to discuss the effect the project would have on the other work the CID plans. “The question for me is whether we will be able to do any other transportation improvements at a time when Buckhead is drowning in traffic,” Shook said.
Businesses within the CID agree to pay extra property taxes to pay for transportation improvements in the area. The board on July 13 set its tax rate for 2015 at 3 mills, the same as it had been previously, board members said.