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Legacy Park tenant Paint Love expanding, moving into Hyatt Cottage

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Legacy Park tenant Paint Love expanding, moving into Hyatt Cottage

A view of cottages at Legacy Park on South Columbia Drive in the city of Decatur on August 12, 2020. The park occupies the former site of the United Methodist Children’s Home. Photo by Dean Hesse.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — Paint Love, a nonprofit organization that brings art programming to youth facing poverty and trauma, will be moving into the Hyatt Cottage at Legacy Park.

The Legacy Decatur board, the board that oversees Legacy Park, approved a lease agreement with the organization to use the cottage for bigger office space at an initial rate of $10 per square foot and an annual increase of 3%.

“Our tenant Paint Love, that is located upstairs in [the administration building], is really growing,” Legacy Decatur Executive Director Lyn Menne said. They got a new grant. They are expanding their services, and they needed more office space.”

Paint Love currently leases an office space on the second floor of the administration building, but needs to expand. The space at Hyatt will prove both office space, storage and workshop space for the program.

Paint Love partners with educational and nonprofit organizations to engage youth through projects that are artist-led to empower conversations guided by trauma-informed standards.

Hyatt Cottage is part of the creative village Legacy Decatur and the Decatur Arts Alliance are working on to create studio space and apartments.

“We talked with the Decatur Arts Alliance,” Menne said. “We’ve been working with them on the creative village concept. They were fine with it, and it will be able to actually generate some revenue that we can use to put back into some of the work that’s going on there. Hyatt was never intended to be a residential solution, because it’s the only one of the four buildings that was never converted to apartments.”

She added, this would be a good partnership because Paint Love works with artists, and they connect artists with the school system and teachers.

Legacy Decatur has received a grant for the creative village. Menne said she didn’t think the grant would cover the cost of the whole project, but it will make a major impact on being able to get the project started.

In other business:

— An open house for the South Housing Village was hosted in February and the project is moving ahead. At the next Decatur City Commission meeting on April 4, the city and the Decatur Housing Authority will present the plan for the project design and the city commission will vote on the design at the April 18 meeting. In May, DHA will apply for low income housing tax credits from the state Department of Community Affairs.

— An Afghan family is being hosted by Legacy Park.

“They’re settling in really well,” Menne said. “I think that they’re comfortable here, and it’s nice to see them out with their children enjoying the peace and quiet.”

Legacy Decatur has partnered with Inspiritus, a refugee resettlement agency, to provide affordable, temporary housing to refugees. The lease will end in December.

Legacy Decatur Director of Programs Madeleine Henner said the family is now clients of the Refugee Women’s Network, who has connected the family to a nearby retailer, where six of the family members have gotten jobs. She added that the store is within walking distance to Legacy Park, so the family doesn’t have to rely solely on MARTA.

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