Home to the Village of Bedford Pines subsidized housing complex—the largest in the Southeast—as well as gentrifying sections of the Old Fourth Ward, the Boulevard corridor is one of the most diverse sections of the city. Hall conceived the initiative in 2012 as a “living laboratory,” in which the challenges of crime and poverty on Boulevard would be addressed alongside revitalization. The goal: Avoid the typical patterns of gentrification in which wealthier newcomers replace the original residents of a poor community.
The wooded pocket park with a picturesque downtown skyline view has been transformed into District 2’s latest amenity, an off-leash dog park with designated areas for small and large dogs—the first such facility in downtown Atlanta.
In 2005, on the day before Thanksgiving, a fire destroyed two apartment buildings in the Village of Bedford Pine and left sixty people homeless. In the eight years since, the corner lot at Boulevard and Angier where the apartments once stood has remained vacant. During that time, Wingate Companies, which owns and manages Bedford Pine, the largest Section 8 subsidized housing project in the Southeast, has talked about redeveloping that lot—and dozens of other properties it owns along the Boulevard corridor. It looks like something is finally going to happen.
Joshua and his army, as the Bible story goes, walked the perimeter of Jericho for seven days before its fortifications collapsed. Major C.J. Davis of the Atlanta Police Department’s code enforcement unit spent nine months navigating a maze of paperwork, hearings, meetings, and other red tape before the walls of an abandoned bungalow at 375 Angier Avenue came tumbling down.
After a year of stepped-up public safety, and just days after lowered crime rates were touted at the Year of Boulevard 2013 kickoff, last night's deadly shooting underscores the complexity of the area’s problems.
“Year of Boulevard: The Sequel” premiered Thursday evening at Tabernacle Baptist. The sanctuary was crowded—people even took spots in the front pews. Everyone had jostled upstairs after chatting and snacking in the basement fellowship hall. It felt like a weeknight service, if, that is, your congregation included Harry the Hawk, folks who dress up in anime costumes (more on that later), a cluster of politicos, and the Zone 6 police commander.
Last January, city councilmember Kwanza Hall declared 2012 the “Year of Boulevard,” and outlined an ambitious plan to revitalize a blighted stretch of intown Atlanta. What's in store this year? Get ready for "Mo' Boulevard," says Hall.
Thanks to a recommendation from the Atlanta Regional Commission, Boulevard could see $1.25 million in pedestrian safety investment.