- Nneka M. Okona For the AJC
Change in the form of new restaurants and nightlife is afoot for the Historic West End, and it will never be quite the same.
In May, long-proposed efforts to make this pocket of southwest Atlanta a community improvement district and the boost economic development became a reality with approval from the Atlanta City Council, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported. The inaugural meeting of the newly-formed community improvement district met in July.
CIDs are tax districts and, with this creation of a new one for the Historic West End, property taxes will be raised. Allocated money will be used for several things: adding more green space into the community, hiring police officers and making sidewalks more pedestrian and bike-friendly.
Eyes have been on this often-overlooked community, known for being in close proximity to the Atlanta University Center, in recent months. Redfin dubbed West End as one of the hottest neighborhoods in Atlanta. With current developments in the works, and one already completed, the Historic West End is undergoing true transformation. Projects include:
One of the first businesses to make its debut along the Westside Trail, Lean Draft House opened for business on June 16. Lean Draft House, located on Hopkins Street directly across from Gordon White Park, is a pub and features 20 local craft beers on tap and a taco-centric menu along with nachos, elote and yuca fries. This pub, with motorcycle-themed decorations, sits at the zero mile mark of the Westside Trail.
An abandoned industrial property will see new life in the West End. The development project, dubbed as Lee + White, came as a Stream Realty acquirement of the 23-acre site. Plans are to transform the 460,000-square-foot building into a food- and beverage-focused destination in southwest Atlanta. A minimal retail aspect is planned as well.
The nucleus of Lee + White will be a biergarten with local craft beer breweries taking advantage of all the acreage. Decatur's Wild Heaven Beer, Westside's Monday Night Brewing and ASW Distillery are slated to be a part of the Lee + White development. The ASW distillery will be a 10,000-square-foot barrelhouse sandwiched between Wild Heaven Beer and Monday Night Brewing.
If the success and development of the Eastside Trail of The Beltline is any predictor, the Westside Trail is in for unprecedented growth as well. The Lee + White Development is along the trail itself but doesn't represent all that is planned. Westside Trail is a 3-mile corridor extending from University Avenue in Adair Park to Lena Avenue in Washington Park.
Initially, plans were for the trail to be open summer 2017, but construction is still in progress and the area is closed to the general public. On the Atlanta Beltline Facebook page last week, Beltline officials said that "the final concrete had been poured" and a dedication could be coming as soon as September. No definite notes, however, on when the 3-mile strip intended for bicycle and pedestrian traffic featuring 14 access points will be open for public use and access.
For more of whats going on in West End Atlanta, check out AccessAtlanta’s West End event page.View full experience