Doraville, GA, January 23, 2016 – The Post Reports – According to the City of Doraville, for years, City residents have expressed a desire to have an attractive, urbanized City Center that would create a “sense of place” – a way to give a unique identity to “downtown” Doraville.
Over the past decade, Doraville conducted many comprehensive studies and those efforts are now providing the foundation for a City Center concept. This concept has the potential to transform Doraville’s current suburban strip environment into an urban pedestrian-oriented village. Doraville’s City Council recently approved the concept, and is taking the first steps in turning the idea into a reality.
“We are extremely excited about the possibility of creating a new downtown area for Doraville that will be more in line with what residents have been wanting for years,” says Doraville Mayor Donna Pittman. “Approval of this initial concept will now give us the opportunity to fine-tune the plans for the new civic campus to make it appealing to all who visit or live in our city. A final version of the concept will be brought to City Council later this year, after we have received input from residents.”
The new City Center or “Civic Campus” concept is derived from the results of in-depth studies including a 2005-2025 Comprehensive Plan, 2005 Doraville Town Center Master Plan Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) and the 2010 Downtown Doraville Master Plan.
Along the way, these plans have all incorporated results of additional studies including a Short Term Work Program, Urban Redevelopment Plan, Active Living Initiative Plan, a newly-approved Tax Allocation District (TAD) for Assembly and a Comprehensive Parks & Recreation Master plan that is pending adoption.
“Today, we are facing new development opportunities, such as Assembly and Nexus, that will transform the city in the coming years,” says Enrique Bascuñana, Doraville Community Development Director. “We currently have no ‘there’ there as far as a downtown Doraville and now is the time to be bold and embrace change.”
Bascuñana says all of these studies have embraced key components of urban design, zoning/land use, transportation, parking and green space. “Among the common recommendations from these plans,” Bascuñana explains, “are key elements such as city gateway opportunities; active ground floor uses adjacent to sidewalks; wider sidewalks lined with street lights and trees; and the use of high quality building materials. In terms of zoning, recommendations included promotion of higher density mixed-use, transit-oriented development, and utilizing ground floor storefront retail along key corridors.”
The conceptual master plan reflects a proposed new civic campus that would entail moving City Hall, the Civic Center, Doraville Library the Courthouse and the Police Department one block due north of their current locations on Park Avenue to Central Avenue between Buford Highway and New Peachtree Road. The government buildings would be consolidated into a smaller parcel at one of the highest points in the city, creating redevelopment and green space opportunities on properties where these facilities are currently located.
Following the natural contour of the land flowing immediately south toward the municipal swimming pool would be a sprawling expanse of park space that would restore parkland to the area once known as Flowers Park, providing magnificent line-of-sight vistas.
Anchoring the four main corners of the downtown complex would be six-story mixed-use buildings with retail and restaurants occupying the bottom floors with pedestrian street access and residential living and/or office space on the upper floors.
“This is just a capsulized version of the proposed plan that offers a palette of possibilities for city facilities and new development opportunities in downtown Doraville,” adds Pittman. ”In the coming weeks and months ahead, town hall meetings and other communication opportunities will be held for residents to provide input.”
Additional information about this project can be found on Doraville’s web page at: http://www.doravillega.us/planning-documents/