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ATLANTA -- More development is being eyed for the MLK Historic District near Downtown Atlanta, in an area full of history.

Community leaders are slated to meet Thursday to discuss plans and the potential for the area.

"We need hotels, restaurants, new grease traps, new facades," said Atlanta City Councilman Kwanza Hall. "Need to make it something we're all proud of. It's Atlanta's great history, Georgia's great history, the nation's -- the world's history."

There is some urgency to the process, since the Atlanta Streetcar is under construction and should be running along Auburn Avenue by the middle of next year.

There is worry among members of the community that new visitors drawn to the Sweet Auburn/MLK area would be turned off by the boarded up doors and windows and vacant lots in the area.

City leaders said they see a real opportunity there, since the King Center and Dr. King's birthplace draw visitors from all over the world -- but there is nothing to keep them there. Restrictive zoning guidelines protecting the historic value of the community end up discouraging new investment in the area.

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