Monday, July 24, 2017

Chamblee Adding to its Public Park Space, Brookhaven Too

The City of Chamblee plans to significantly increase its public park space, most dramatically with the planned preservation of existing green space at the former Jim Hearn Golf Center on Buford Highway.  The driving range, located at 4445 Buford Highway just north of Dresden Drive, sits on 16.5 acres and had been in business for decades before closing over a year ago. 

At least  one brokerage firm was marketing the property as a "multifamily development opportunity" with a "conceptual development" plan for as many as 300 apartments.  

The sales flyer described the parcel's  topography as follows:

"According to studies and plans drawn by Eberly & Associates, currently 6.73 acres are outside the flood plain and 9.71 acres are within the flood plain.  After the grading process is complete there will be approximately 10.23 acres outside the flood plain and 6.21 acres will be within the flood plain, creating  an optimal land track for the construction of a new apartment community."  

Personally, I'm pleased to see the City of Chamblee moving to bolster their park space, especially in the wake of so much current and planned commercial and residential development in the area. 

Many ToNeTo Atlanta readers suggested that the Grand Slam driving range on North Druid Hills Road and the vacant, but (formerly) heavily wooded property in front of the Toco Hills Kroger become park space, but alas, both fell victim to residential and commercial development respectively.  

According to a release from the City of Chamblee, the Jim Hearn property will be purchased for $4.5 million with the transaction expected to close in September.  

In addition to the Jim Hearn property, the City of Chamblee also plans to add 8.9 acres of "undeveloped" green space at 4197 North Shallowford Road, just south of the Savoy Drive commercial corridor.  The purchase of the property, for which the city will pay $111,111.11 is expected to be completed this month.  "Once completed, this park will connect neighborhoods and businesses on North Shallowford Road and North Peachtree Road along Nancy Creek as part of a larger bicycle and pedestrian trail system in the area."   

The approximately 25 acres in new park space represents an over 33% increase in park space within the The City of Chamblee.  The city currently has nine parks with a total of 76 acres. 

"The addition of new parks and recreation space was a key task identified by residents in the City’s 2015 Comprehensive Plan. Additionally, efforts from the 2016 Parks Master Plan process identified Chamblee residents’ desire for additional park space featuring amenities like playgrounds and dog parks, new recreational opportunities and trail connectivity." 

City officials and staff welcome resident input on the proposed park spaces. Residents have the opportunity to complete a survey by August 15th at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/STT7QBP
The new park planned for Skyland Drive in Brookhaven (Click to enlarge)
Chamblee's neighbor, the City of Brookhaven, is also adding park space.  Earlier today, the city held a groundbreaking ceremony at 2600 Skyland Drive for their new park.  DeKalb County School District plans to construct a new elementary school, Skyland Elementary School, on 11.5 acres of Skyland Park. The City of Chamblee  will construct a new park on approximately 4.5 acres of land, previously the "vital records office."  One known amenity of the new park will be electric vehicle chargers provided by Georgia Power.  

Are you excited for the new parks planned for Chamblee and Brookhaven? What amenities are most important to you in a public park? Where is your favorite park in metro Atlanta?

Please share your thoughts below. 

5 comments:

Jen Shoemaker said...

It's actually going to be the permanent new space for John Lewis Elementary. Skyland was the name of the original school.

Jen Shoemaker said...

Also City of Brookhaven is responsible for the park portion.

Anonymous said...

While Brookhaven is adding park space I don't count this as added space since the previous park which will
Be clear-cut for the school and it's large parking lots was bigger .... 11.5 down to 4.5. And elsehere in Brookhaven the city and school system cut several sizeable hardwoods along Skyland to add parking. Frustrating part is they could have used bulbouts and other build around to save the trees. Or put the parking on an adjacent street that could have accommodated diagonal parki g on the existing pavement. And both cities need to adopt policies for curbless parking so wateris not channeled away from street trees. COA is doing that

RichKnobSales said...

Tearing down the old and still servicable school to build from scratch a brand new school nearby and converting this old school into a park.

Right.

How much more does that cost us than rehabbing the old school? To bulldoze the old Briarcliff HS and build the proposed new Cross Keys is going to cost twice as much as rehabbing the old Briarcliff, even in the decrepit condition they've allowed it to achieve, and that's according to DCSD's own figures. Why they will spend tens of millions of extra tax dollars is beyond me.

Anonymous said...

Kudos to Chamblee for any chance to preserve green space. This could've suffered the fate of yet another strip mall, apartment building, but I'm glad they made the move to preserve it. Every time I drive through Chamblee there's another apartment building or retail store going up in a place where there were trees. I hope this isn't too much too quickly...