Chris Baum calls basketball his religion. And melding the sport with youth-focused development could be his future.

Baum is working as head of marketing and community outreach for a nonprofit on Atlanta’s southside that hopes to meld youth sports with infill development in a unique way.

Baum’s group owns a little more than 4 wooded acres at 2501 Roosevelt Highway and has recently brought plans to the city for an indoor-outdoor sports complex that would also include offices and a versatile, central gathering space, he says.

The triangular site is located near the junction of Interstates 85 and 285, just west of the Atlanta airport.

The proposal's 2501 Roosevelt Highway location, west of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Google Maps

View from Roosevelt Highway at the front of the lot. Courtesy of Chris Baum

The current phase one calls for clearing the land and building two outdoor basketball courts, as a means for project leaders to establish themselves in the community. Baum says the first step is tree-removal, followed by pouring concrete. 

Phase two would see an indoor basketball gym, sports offices, an open courtyard for events, and a parking area.

With a stage positioned at one end, the courtyard would be intended for outdoor concerts, speaking engagements, and other community events

Designs for the indoor gym call for a large window allowing for views to that courtyard.

Each new building on site would stand between 18 and 30 feet, with the indoor gym being taller at 35 feet, according to plans Baum’s team brought to the city, seeking rezoning that would accommodate sports uses.

Paperwork submitted as part of the proposal reads: “We believe that inner city youth need an alternative to all the distractions that they may have in their lives.”

The planned stage overlooking the courtyard space. Courtesy of Chris Baum

How the indoor basketball facility could look. Courtesy of Chris Baum

Baum says the complex is expected to come together in phases, pending fundraising efforts that have begun. All construction timelines are TBD.

“We are working to finalize our website so we can have people donate,” Baum says. “As of right now, we have one or two corporate sponsors, but definitely need more.” 

In the gallery above, find more context and artist concepts for the College Park proposal. 


Follow us on social media: 

Twitter / Facebook 

• East Point news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)