Brookhaven’s new City Centre is expected to prioritize walkability, connectivity, and outdoor spaces, according to a presentation at a Brookhaven Planning Commission meeting on Wednesday. 

During a Jan. 5 work session, the Planning Commission heard a presentation from Bob Hughes, who works with the architectural firm HGOR. According to Hughes, the City Centre will be less of a condensed downtown area and more of a linear group of public spaces and developments connected by a trail network. 

Hughes said the idea for a more spread out City Centre project came from Brookhaven’s geography. 

“It’s a very unique situation,” Hughes said. “You have almost three rivers running simultaneously next to one another. You have railroad tracks, you have MARTA tracks, and you have a big, wide Peachtree Road. The three of those put together really does divide the city from one side to the other.”

A map rendering of the framework for Brookhaven’s City Centre plan.

There were no formal plans for where specific features, such as a City Hall, might be located, but the presentation included multiple renderings of the general framework for the area. Hughes said he thought a good spot for a City Hall might be close to where Brookhaven Park sits now, but there were multiple areas that might work. 

Hughes described the theoretical City Centre not as a grouping of multiple-story buildings, but more of a connected group of public spaces. According to Hughes, during the year-long public input process for the project, resident’s consistently asked for connection across the city, green space, and more. 

“What we heard from the community is very consistent,” Hughes said. “They’re talking about … pedestrians and bikes, the ability to walk, connectivity, something that’s shared and inclusive by all citizens.” 

The presentation offered ideas on how to make the periphery of Peachtree Road more walkable, such as creating a “Beltline” type multi-use path on one side to create connectivity throughout the city. Hughes also brought up the idea of adding pedestrian and bike paths over Peachtree Road to make trips from one side of the city to the other shorter.

“If we can get our local traffic to walk, to bike, to do things where they don’t have to use an automobile, then we can actually take some of the traffic off the road,” Hughes said. 

Residents can watch the entire presentation on the city’s Facebook page. The Brookhaven City Council will hear final recommendations from the City Centre team at a Jan. 26 virtual meeting, according to a press release. The link will be available at this website closer to the date of the meeting. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.