The Atlanta City Council on June 19 unanimously approved spending $3 million to turn two Buckhead lots into fully equipped public parks.
Pine Hills Park on Lenox Road and Old Ivy Park in North Buckhead will be outfitted with park equipment, which may include accessible walking paths, playgrounds, pavilions, plazas, bike racks and park benches. The money will come from a trust fund paid into by developers for impact fees.
The lots were previously purchased by the city in an effort to increase green space in Buckhead. District 7 Councilmember Howard Shook, who represents part of Buckhead, has been part of the effort and said in a press release, “We’ve doubled our green space inventory in a very short period of time and there are no plans to slow down now.”
Pine Hills Park is located at 3148 and 3162 Lenox Road in the Pine Hills neighborhood near MARTA’s Lenox Station and the Lenox Square Mall. The combined 4-acre lots were purchased by the city in 2013 and 2016. Last winter, residents formed a Friends of Pine Hills Park group to support and help design the park.
The council approved the park under the name “Lenox Park,” which is also the name of a different park in Brookhaven and of a Buckhead neighborhood. Sally Silver, Shook’s policy director, said “Lenox Park” is just a placeholder name for what will be called Pine Hills Park.
Pine Hills Park will start from a blank slate, Shook said. No plans have been developed yet for the park, so the improvements will take longer, Shook said. Construction will likely begin later this year, he said.
Old Ivy Park is located at 519 Old Ivy Road and is just under one acre. It was established during the building of PATH400, a trail network that will eventually connect to the Atlanta Beltline. Lenox Park potentially will connect to PATH400 in the future, Shook said.
A concept design for Old Ivy Park has already been drawn by Livable Buckhead and the Department of Parks and Recreation.
The conceptual design includes a lawn area, an “iconic” pavilion, terraced seating and some unusual art features, including colorful ovals painted on the roadway to slow traffic, and artwork that children and adults can climb on or interact with.
The park concept extends down the street beneath a Ga. 400 overpass, where street lights and exercise equipment for children and adults could be installed, along with on-street parking.
The design may change, depending on the budget.
“We’ll see how far the money goes,” Shook said.
The plans to make the lots public parks are part of the “Buckhead Collection” plan, a framework created in 2010 to add 106 acres of green spaces and trails to council District 7.