Nope. This is not what transit-oriented development looks like. And yet this plan for a new Walmart, complete with an enormous surface parking lot, has been proposed for a piece of land one block away from Atlanta’s Lindbergh MARTA station.
Thomas Wheatley reports on the project today in a..
There’s something conspicuously absent from this conversation: What happens to the people living in what’s left of that apartment complex? Where are they going to go? Do they have representation at the meetings?
Whatever the size of the residential component of the new development, it will almost certainly be marketed as “luxury” rentals and priced accordingly. Even in the somewhat unlikely event that the units are planned as mixed income, the current residents have to live somewhere between the time they’re forced to move out for the demolition and when the new project is finished. There certainly won’t be room for everyone to come back.
For all the breathless excitement that discussions of walkable neighborhoods with easy access to transit generates, it’s frequently in terms of those things as a sort of signing bonus. It’s as if those are luxuries that have to be offered up as bribes to the right people to persuade them to come back to or stay in the city. Forgotten in all of that are many of the people who are already here - people for whom being able to walk to a transit station isn’t part of some car-free/car-lite lifestyle fantasy. It’s the only way they can get by.
Using the words “Buckhead” and “gentrification” in the same sentence isn’t something you see very often, but there’s not much else to call this. See also the demolition of Peachtree Hills Apartments five years ago - Hundreds of units of moderately priced apartments torn down, originally to be replaced by expensive assisted-living condos, but now the site of nothing but chainlink and chest-high weeds.