Avondale Estates to host town green groundbreaking ceremony on June 30Avondale Estates town green rendering from the city's website.
Avondale Estates, GA — Dirt is turning and construction will soon begin on the town green project in Avondale Estates. The City Commission will hosting a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday, June 30, at 4:30 p.m. at the town green site located along Highway 278.
The town green project includes the construction of a two-acre park and an interim solution that replaces the commercial development. The park will be located along Highway 278/ North Avondale Road between Oak and Lake Streets.
In addition to the park, the city will address stormwater, reconnect the street network and generate a new focal point for the downtown, according to a press release from the city.
The city has been working on the town green project for about five years. The project is a joint venture between the City Commission, the Downtown Development Authority and the Urban Redevelopment Agency.
Avondale Estates adopted a downtown master plan in 2014 which included converting the four-acre lot between Oak and Lake Streets into a park. Several years ago the city bought the land and in 2017, the city launched an open, public process to determine the best use of the land. “Entry number nine” was the favorite, DDA Chair Dave Deiters said in a post on the DDA website.
The design was based on a concept submitted by local architect Sheri Locke in May 2019. Locke’s design included commercial buildings next to the road and a public green space behind them, Decaturish previously reported.
Architects from Stevens and Wilkinson and landscape architects from Site Solutions further refined the concept into the current iteration with feedback and participation from the community, according to the press release.
The original scope of the project included the mixed-use commercial development but Bryant said at the Feb. 10 City Commission meeting that the commercial element is not feasible at this time. In its place, the developers will create an open-air green space.
The park plan includes walking paths, intimate gardens, open fields for passive recreation, a pavilion for outdoor performances, space for events, provisions for food trucks, a children’s area, a dog playground and other amenities, the press release states. Additionally, the contractor will add a fountain to the park and more lighting along Lake Street.
The city reached an agreement for the park and executed a memorandum of understanding with Fabric Developers in November 2019. Fabric then selected the design and construction firms. The City Commission approved a contract with Site Solutions to complete the design of the town green in December 2019.
The Urban Redevelopment Agency approved a contract in May 2021 with Reeves Young for the project construction. The base bid came in at $5.7 million which will be funded through a bond anticipation note, SPLOST funds and the Downtown Development Authority.
The city commissioners celebrated the progress of the project at the May 12 URA meeting after approving the construction contract with Reeves Young.
“I think this was the topic maybe at the very first meeting I was a part of in January of 2016 and to finally get to this point is very humbling and it makes me proud,” Mayor Pro Tem Brian Fisher said at the May 12 URA meeting, adding that approving the contract was the proudest vote he’s taken.
The board members thanked everyone who has been involved in this project from city staff to former city commissioners to Second Century Avondale, Fabric Developers and others.
“It’s a great day and I’m proud to be part of the team that put this together,” Commissioner Lionel Laratte said at the meeting.
From groundbreaking to ribbon cutting, the construction phase of the town green is anticipated to last about nine months, according to the press release.
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