ROSWELL—Roswell business owners concerned about the impacts of a street open to pedestrians in the city’s bustling downtown appear to be getting their way with city government.

It came to light last week that Roswell city officials were planning to close roughly a block of Canton Street this summer—from Memorial Day to Labor Day—on a trial basis as a means of boosting pedestrian accessibility and safety. (The idea, naturally, was roundly applauded on a forum like this.) The section in question is home to boutiques and eateries such as 1920 Tavern, Little Alley Steak, and Salt Factory Pub.

But at a contentious city hall meeting with Roswell Mayor Kurt Wilson this week, downtown proprietors worried aloud that blocking access to vehicles and street parking with the “Canton Street Promenade” would hurt business. They also complained that Wilson hastily put street-closure plans together without enough public engagement (one business owner complained of feeling like a “kicked dog,” as WSB-TV reports). The consensus seems to be that parking is the main issue—and that opening parts of Canton Street should be tabled until a city-funded parking garage opens nearby within two years.     

Another, more formal meeting with business owners is planned Tuesday, and the temporary promenade idea will now have to pass an official Roswell City Council vote before moving forward.  

OLD FOURTH WARD—In the heart of Old Fourth Ward, neighbors are upset with Georgia Power for quickly moving plans forward to expand a substation—a project that will claim nine homes and, according to some nearby property owners, become an intrusive eyesore.

Location of the Georgia Power substation in question, where Boulevard meets Wabash Avenue.Google Maps

The walled-off transformer hub in question is located on the northeast corner of where Boulevard meets Wabash Avenue. The utility company says a larger, modernized substation is necessary to accommodate intown Atlanta’s swelling population; it’s purchased nine houses from neighbors willing to sell and has started demolition efforts, according to 11Alive News. Other neighbors who didn’t sell are fretting over the question of how large the substation will be and how soon it might happen, looming over their properties, as they recently pleaded before Georgia’s Public Service Commission. But it sounds like the deal is done.

WEST END—Last but not least, from the depths of the inbox (apologies) comes news that West End’s ever-expanding Lee + White district has committed to a June opening for its food hall component.

The district has also recently signed five new food concepts: Dough Boy Pizza (Birmingham-based, with a franchise location in Decatur); Good Azz Burgers (former food truck); Vietvana (forth location around ITP Atlanta); World Chicken (first location); and Sakura Sake Bar & Bottles (second metro location). Those additions beef up the food hall’s roster to 14 different options, collectively described by project leaders as “eclectic.”  

View of the adaptive-reuse food hall plans from above the BeltLine's Westside Trail. Courtesy of MDH Partners, Ackerman & Co.; designs, Smith Dalia Architects

Elsewhere at Lee + White, Grady Health System has leased more than 16,300 square feet of space in the district’s renovated Building 1000 for an outpatient center (in addition to a 9,200-square-foot location on Cascade Road). Both health centers are efforts by Grady to boost healthcare services in historically underserved areas of central and south Fulton County, officials say.


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• Old Fourth Ward news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)