The City of Avondale Estates Board of Mayor and Commissioners kicked off construction of the new Town Green with a groundbreaking ceremony Wednesday, June 30.
Avondale is building on its reputation as a green city, and the 2-acre Town Green will serve as an economic driver for the downtown, as well as a place for the community to gather.
In addition to the new park, the City will address stormwater and reconnect the street network, generating a new focal point for Downtown Avondale. The Town Green will extend from North Avondale Road on the South to the proposed Washington-Parry Connector on the North. The new road, which is between Oak and Lake Streets, will provide for circulation through the downtown.
The Town Green is a great example of collaboration between community members and elected officials working together with common goals. This 2-acre park was first identified by the City’s Green Space Committee and incorporated into the Downtown Master Plan. At the end of the last recession, leadership had the foresight to gain control of land at post-recession values. Adding green space to the downtown’s infrastructure will be a boost for quality of life in Avondale and serve as a catalyst for future development.
The overall design for the park kicked off in 2017 with a community-based competition for the best potential layout and concept. Sherri Locke, an Avondale Estates resident and architect with Stevens and Wilkinson, submitted the winning concept. Building off the Locke’s concept, architects from Stevens and Wilkinson and landscape architects from Site Solutions further refined the concept into its current iteration with feedback and participation from residents and other stakeholders.
The park plan reinforces Avondale’s distinctive Tudor character and is designed with inclusivity in mind. It includes walking paths, intimate gardens, open fields for passive recreation, pavilion for outdoor performances, space for events, provisions for food trucks, children’s area, dog playground and other amenities for residents, businesses and visitors.
The City has taken a unique Public-Private Partnership approach to the delivery of the Town Green. By contracting with Fabric Developers LLC, to manage the construction of the park development on behalf of the City with Reeves Young LLC as the general contractor, the City is able to leverage the expertise of the development team to bring about better value for the community.
From groundbreaking to ribbon cutting, the construction phase of the Town Green is estimated to take about 9 months. Construction costs are $5.7 million and are to be funded through a Bond Anticipation Note, SPLOST funds, and the Downtown Development Authority.
This project sets a high bar for quality development in downtown Avondale Estates going forward and establishes the foundation for an expanded downtown. In turn, it is the catalyst for a new Avondale Estates community where property values have already steadily increased in the downtown area as the proposal has moved from paper to breaking ground.