New park planned for downtown ATL

A vacant lot on E. Hiram Street that was donated to the city will soon be home to a public park and additional downtown parking -- upgrades aimed at drawing more people to the heart of town.
The lot at 212 E. Hiram is the former home of Woods Furniture Store, which was consumed by fire approximately a year and a half ago. E.B. Woods generously donated the land to the City of Atlanta, and local officials pledged to do something positive with the property, Atlanta City Manager David Cockrell said.
A decision was made to divide the lot roughly in half between park space and additional parking. A new place for the public to gather downtown and parking were both identified as major needs.
“We’ve had a call for more parking,” Cockrell said. “At the same time, we need some more open space, a gathering space. We did a combination of those two things.”
The open area will consist of an attractive, elevated green space with turf and flagstone. The walls of adjacent buildings will be covered in stucco, and power and wi-fi will be available. All-in-all it opens up a number of possibilities -- for festivals and other events, movies in the park, etc.
“We’re going to be encouraging the local farmers market, for example, to set up down there,” Cockrell said. Of other possibilities, he added, “We foresee a time when we might have a variety of food trucks come in.”
The area can also be easily closed to through-traffic to accommodate events when needed.
The new park is a project of the Atlanta City Development Corporation (ACDC), which is funded by collection of a half-cent local sales tax. 
The ACDC has a budget of about $500,000 per year.
Cockrell praised the work of the ACDC in planning the project.
“We believe the public will really like this,” he said. “There’s been a lot of thought put into it by Miranda Johnson, executive director of the ACDC. … She and her board have done a tremendous job thinking about what the community needs.
"I think they’ve really done a great job with this.”
The park project will cost $286,430, and construction will be done by Mike Rogers Construction of Lone Star, the lowest bidder on the project.
It’s anticipated work will be completed by late fall or early winter, Cockrell said. The project engineers are CLB Engineering of Texarkana.

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