To the editor:

The Northwest Community Alliance (NCA) commends Atlanta BeltLine Inc and NE BeltLine on the recent announcement of a private/public joint venture to purchase and develop the northeast link of the BeltLine. This is a major step in making the BeltLine become a reality.

The NCA wants to give a great deal of credit to Mayor Franklin, Planning Commissioner Steve Cover, and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. CEO Terri Montague for finessing what had become a very dicey problem.

We don’t yet know the financial details of the deal; but we do know that Wayne Mason and company had interests that were running in the opposite direction from where the majority of neighborhoods, BeltLine advocates and this current administration wanted the BeltLine to go. Mayor Franklin and Steve Cover and his able staff have consistently held firm on keeping with the development and land use plans regarding this site. They did not leave room for any one person to hijack our collective BeltLine vision.

The NCA previously expressed support for the purchase of the Bellwood Quarry. We understood how critical this purchase was to the implementation of the Beltline in northwest Atlanta.

We are, however, extremely concerned with the Atlanta Regional Commission’s removal of $104 million in anticipated funding for the Northwest and Southwest BeltLine links. It is clear to our board members that the ARC is shortchanging Northwest Atlanta, in particular.

The boom in growth in Atlanta right now is west. To quote one of our developer NCA board members this action helps derail the “supreme potential” of northwest Atlanta. To quote another northwest Atlanta neighborhood president and NCA board member, “We must caution against the northwest being put into a corner to collect dust.”

We understand that there is some difference in opinion into how serious this move is in real terms. But we refuse to leave this to chance or to guess. The NCA Board believes that dropping the western BeltLine links as a priority is a move that must be reversed, and reversed now.

The ARC must catch up with the reality that is taking shape before our eyes now in northwest Atlanta. Our current board consists of several northwest neighborhood presidents and leaders and our “neighborhood friendly” developer board members alone collectively have millions of square feet in retail, residential and commercial up and running or shortly coming online in northwest Atlanta.

Mike Koblentz, chairman

Northwest Community Alliance

The Northwest Community Alliance is an organization of representatives from 16 northwest Atlanta neighborhoods as well as businesses that operate in that area of the city. The NCA has meetings with speakers on the third Wednesday of every other month.

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. CEO was the speaker at the last NCA meeting.

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