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City breaks ground on latest segment of Westside BeltLine

It will run north-south through neighborhoods including Washington Park, English Avenue and Bankhead.

ATLANTA — The City of Atlanta broke ground Tuesday on a section of of the BeltLine that promises to bring the popular and transformational trail through some of the city's most historic - and historically underserved - neighborhoods on the Westside.

The 1.3-mile segment of the Westside trail will connect a trail portion that currently stops at Washington Park with a portion that begins roughly at the new Westside Reservoir Park.

It will run north-south through neighborhoods including Washington Park, English Avenue and Bankhead, and cross crucial thoroughfares including Joseph E. Boone Blvd. and Donald Lee Hollowell Pkwy. 

RELATED: BeltLine to hold public meeting on Westside development

According to Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the nonprofit that operates the trail, this segment, once completed, will create the "longest continuous section of paved trail along the BeltLine" at six-and-a-half miles, from Pittsburgh Yards in the south to Huff Road in the north.

“As we break ground on the last major segment of the Westside Trail, we are creating a bridge between the past and present in Atlanta,” Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “The Westside Trail ultimately closes the loop from Downtown Atlanta through Vine City and English Avenue and connects Washington Park to Bankhead and Historic Westin Heights. This segment embodies my goal for a city of safe, healthy, connected neighborhoods that also symbolizes African American history and showcases Atlanta’s ongoing growth and innovation to create a city built for the future.”

The new section of the trail will also bring a potential development boom to arguably the most gentrification-vulnerable section of Atlanta, a factor that will be closely watched as the trail segment takes shape.

Atlanta BeltLine Inc. has previously promised to use its purchase of 31 acres at 425 Chappell Road in Bankhead - the site of the former Chappell Forest Apartments - to build affordable housing within a short distance of the future Westside trail.

Already in Bankhead, developer Brock Built is constructing half-million-dollar townhomes in a neighborhood where many homes are valued at far less. The BeltLine operating group purchased the Chappell Road site from Brock Built for about $25 million in May 2022, what they said was a 30% reduction from its last appraisal in a "donation from the Brocks to further the goal of an affordable and inclusive Atlanta."

Developers are also building Echo Street West, a massive mixed-use development in the English Avenue neighborhood to Bankhead's direct east, and MARTA has plans to undertake a major redevelopment of Bankhead Station that is expected to include a mixed-use expansion. 

However, one additional major project in the area - the once-planned 90-acre Microsoft campus - is on pause.

The BeltLine said in a release that the new segment will be a "vital component of the Atlanta BeltLine’s 'emerald necklace,' a network of public greenspaces connected by the BeltLine."

According to a project timeline, trail construction is expected to be completed in the summer of 2025. 


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