Humble, gritty, and quirky, East Point sits just southwest of downtown Atlanta, bordered by Greenbriar Mall, Camp Creek Parkway, and Tyler Perry Studios. Established in 1847 as the eastern terminus of the Atlanta and West Point railroads, the city was chartered 40 years later, and today is home to 38,000 residents. While East Point is part of the Tri-Cities area, which includes College Park and Hapeville, development here has moved at a slower pace. That’s not necessarily a bad thing for residents, who defend its quiet and close-knit community and enjoy East Point’s decidedly intentional sense of detachment.
“There’s a lot of exciting stuff that’s keeping East Point East Point,” says resident Hannah Palmer, a Forest Park native, urban designer, and author of the book Flight Path: A Search for Roots Beneath the World’s Busiest Airport. “The city has a plan of how to grow and continue to be inclusive. Meanwhile, Hapeville is blowing up with $700,000 condos. I hope we don’t have that here.” Palmer enjoys taking regular strolls with her dog on recently paved sidewalks and trails like the East Point PATH, whose model mile begins at Sumner Park on Headland Drive, the street made famous by OutKast’s classic song “Elevators (Me & You).” Her passion for a sustainable way of life for fellow Southsiders led her to join the East Point Local Food Ecosystem Commission, which is implementing a plan to boost the local agricultural economy and drive urban farming.
The city’s affordability also helps it attract and retain a quietly thriving creative community, which supports venues like ArtsXchange, the Windmill Arts Center, and the recently opened gallery Black Art in America. The new investment in walkability will connect pedestrians living along Norman Berry Drive, which passes Tri-Cities High School and the quaint Jefferson Park neighborhood on the way to crossing Cleveland Avenue, to downtown East Point, where a vibrant Main Street anchors the city.
What’s to love?
Black Art in America
The headquarters and gallery space of a national Black arts organization, BAIA opened on Juneteenth 2022 and hosts rotating exhibitions of paintings, sculptures, prints, and even plants and garden art from an eclectic space on Connally Drive.
An equal mix of pastry shop, coffeehouse, and event space, this Black-owned Main Street cafe gave East Point one of its most beloved community meeting spots when it arrived in summer of 2016.
Dick Lane Velodrome
This angled cycling track is one of relatively few in the U.S., built after East Point residents and officials returned from the 1972 Olympic Games in Munich. It was a training facility for Atlanta’s 1996 Games and regularly hosts cycling events and competitions.
Connally Nature Park
A 27-acre public greenspace that’s home to rare pink lady slipper orchids, which blossom in spring, and giant white oak trees said to be around 300 years old, this gorgeous preserve reminds visitors of East Point’s wild roots.
Station Soccer East Point
Officially opened in October 2019, this was the third soccer pitch intentionally developed near a MARTA transit station by Atlanta’s nonprofit Soccer in the Streets organization, encouraging the sport as a driver of youth opportunities and community development.
This article appears in our March 2023 issue.