Thanks to the generosity of this parish, we now own the entirety of our block. This achievement, one long hoped for by parishioners who came before us, now offers us the exciting opportunity to envision together how we can leave a legacy for future generations. We’ve formed a steering committee to guide us over the next three years through the work of discerning the future of our block. During the first year, our aim is to learn together, sharing with the parish all that we can about the city that is taking shape around us.
The committee has begun to meet with different partners in our community to learn about the changing face of Midtown. Since the beginning of the year, we have met with Midtown Alliance and Cousins Properties, and we plan to meet with Georgia Tech, Emory University Hospital Midtown, and other neighbors here in Midtown and metro Atlanta, as well as churches and organizations around the country. We will share and discuss what we’ve learned during quarterly meetings with the parish, which are currently scheduled to take place on March 17, May 19, September 29, and November 24. We are confident that by learning all that we can about the future of Midtown and beyond, we will be well-positioned to move into the second phase of this work, during which we will imagine the future of our block together.
What’s happening in Midtown?
As anyone who has counted the cranes knows, Midtown is a neighborhood on the move. For the past four decades, Midtown Alliance, a nonprofit coalition of business and community leaders, has focused on planning and development in Midtown. Their work has traced the evolution of Midtown as it has become one of America’s most vibrant residential and commercial neighborhoods. We heard three key strengths that Midtown offers to those who work, make home, and play here, which are most pertinent to our own place in this part of the city of Atlanta:
1. Midtown is a Walkable Urban Neighborhood
Midtown is fast becoming one of the most desirable places to both live and work in Atlanta. Year by year, more and more people will drive and walk by our block, and come to see our place on the landscape as part of a larger walkable and accessible whole. As businesses and people continue to move here, while we can expect the neighbor-hood to become more densely populated, we should also look forward to the creation of wide sidewalks, green spaces, more arts and cultural attractions, and buildings with active uses at the street level, such as retail and restaurants. In other words, our neighborhood is increasingly a place where people want to be, and linger, and enjoy one another’s company, the very things we rely on ourselves for the formation of our own community.
2. Midtown is Becoming a Hub for Talent and Innovation
If we were to trace a line from our corner on North Avenue, down West Peachtree past Tech Square, we would pass through one of the most concentrated hubs of innovation and technology in the country. There is an exciting number and variety of companies wishing to locate their innovation work right in our neighborhood. The most prominent example for us will be the new headquarters of Norfolk Southern which recently decided to build its national headquarters across the street from us, focusing its operations and innovation work within this West Peachtree tech corridor. The exciting invitation that this hub of innovation presents to us as a church is how our own mission and ministries might continue to adapt and grow to meet the needs and excite the imaginations of those innovating, literally down our street.
3. Midtown is Accessible via Public Transportation
Our neighborhood has the benefit of having three MARTA Stations: North Avenue, Midtown, and Arts Center. Access to public transportation is one of the key drivers of the growth and development of Midtown, as workforces become increasingly drawn to traveling to work off the road. We are placed right at the heart of that transit zone, and have an opportunity to invite in the thousands who pass by our beautiful block every day.
Lend Your Voice
The future of our block is work that we are committed to envision together as one parish. We invite and encourage you to lend your voice to this endeavor to leave a lasting legacy for the future of our parish. In this first year of learning together, if you have a connection or contact in Midtown or beyond that you think we should learn from, please let us know by emailing Pat Kiley, Assistant to the Rector, at firstname.lastname@example.org. We look forward to all that we will learn this year.
Did you miss the first session?
- Download a PDF of the handout here.
- Download a PDF of the presentation slides here.
- Listen to an audio recording of the session here.