LONGTIME 1922 ATLANTA RESIDENTS CONTINUALLY PISSED ABOUT NEW DEVELOPMENTS
George Wilson can’t help but feel the neighborhood he once loved is gone forever. The streets of Inman Park have changed over the last few years as tons of new development hits the area. And it’s something he and his friends are seeing all over the city, as upper-middle class developments pop up all through Atlanta’s north-east side, spurred by new transportation developments like the “9-Mile Circle” streetcar.
“Atlanta is changing and growing. Lots of people are moving here,” Wilson says. “It’s just not the same Atlanta I remember from 20 years ago.”
Local residents are most miffed by the cookie cutter neighborhoods filled with hundreds of similar looking buildings, built by developers like George Adair Jr., Joel Hurt and Asa Candler. New developments in Virginia Highland, Poncey Highland, Inman Park and Candler Park are built with a mix of retail and residential, and boast a much higher population density than previously existed on the land. But it’s the trendy “arts and crafts” style that most signifies the new developments.
“There’s craftsmen bungalows everywhere, on street after street. They just don’t have any of the Victorian soul or southern farmhouse sensibility we’re used to,” says Violet Denny, longtime Inman Park resident. “It’s like every developer is just making the same thing, over and over.”
Some of the most recent developments to cause the ire of local residents include the Atkins Park development in the Virginia Highland neighborhood — which features low-slung commercial and residential buildings built along a few blocks of Highland Avenue that are filling quickly with new restaurants and shops — and the new shopping district on the corner of Moreland Avenue and Euclid Avenue known to locals as “little five points,” whose tile-roofed storefronts are built in the middle of the new surrounding bungalow neighborhoods of Moreland Park.
“So many new people are moving into the neighborhood,” Wilson says over a cup of coffee at the new Atkins Park Delicatessen. “And prices keep going up. I’m not going to be able to live here anymore. And don’t even get me started about the traffic.”