Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms May 25 announced the city of Atlanta has agreed to purchase 2.94 acres of land located at the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive for the historic expansion of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden. The acquisition of the property was approved 13-1 by the Atlanta City Council May 21. District 5 Councilwoman Natalyn Archibong voted no, and District 1 Councilwoman Carla Smith was absent.
“I am delighted to announce that we are, once again, committing to enhancing world-class greenspace that will provide residents, families and visitors with access to healthy recreation and spectacular natural beauty in the heart of our city,” Bottoms said in a news release. “The expansion of Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden will resonate for decades to come as they serve more visitors through enhanced spaces and a new connection to the Atlanta BeltLine.
“Thank you to the Piedmont Park Conservancy and the Botanical Garden for their partnership in this visionary project. It will transform the corner of Piedmont Avenue and Monroe Drive and provide a landmark gateway entrance to the crown jewel of our park system.”
As the city moves forward, the department of parks and recreation will host a series of community meetings to incorporate public feedback into the design of the pedestrian trails, the trail connections and access to the Atlanta BeltLine, as well as the expanded park and the garden.
The city will pay up to $20.4 million for the property with a majority of funds coming from the TSPLOST, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. and the department of parks and recreation. A philanthropic effort to raise $80 million in private funds for the full development and expansion of the park and the garden will be led by Carol Tomé, the garden’s board chair and chief financial officer of The Home Depot.
The property is currently operated as a retail development subject to commercial lease, whose income will be used to offset costs until each lease expires or terminates, and the expansion of the park and the garden begins.