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Entries in BeltLine (8)
Pedestrian-friendly transit, a multi-use trail, greenspace and connectivity with surrounding developments and neighborhoods -- add up all the elements of the Atlanta BeltLine and what you’ve got is an upgrade to the city. Atlanta 2.0 is the expanding, redeveloping mile-wide swath of smart growth that has the BeltLine as it’s central artery. Are you looking to upgrade your lifestyle by living along the BeltLine? Then join me for a BeltLine Wheel Estate Tour of the Eastside Trail. We will tour properties for sale along this amenity-rich corridor on bicycles provided by Bicycle Tours of Atlanta. And why not? Owners of wheel estate along the Eastside Trail will enjoy access by bicycle (or foot) to some of the best parks, shopping, and dining that Atlanta has to offer like the newly created Historic Fourth Ward Park and Ponce City Market, now under construction.
Trails consistently remain the number one community amenity sought by prospective homeowners (National Association of Homebuilders, 2008) and can increase values for adjacent properties by as much as 20% over otherwise comparable properties.
Tours in May will run from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Wednesday, May 15; Tuesday, May 21; and Wednesday, May 29th (weather permitting).
As a Georgia-licensed real estate broker, I can show you some of the most exciting condo, townhome, and loft living on the market along this first segment of Atlanta’s bicycle superhighway.
Tour groups are small, so reserve your spot today.
I posted a somewhat crude video of one of my first rides on the BeltLine Eastside Trail back when it was about to open [Atlanta Bicycle Superhighway Begins]. Here's better footage of a round trip on the trail, sped up 300%.
Bicycles are a key component of the urban renaissance...
Fox 5 pits runner, bicyclist, and auto commuter against one another to see who can make it from Irwin Street to Piedmont Park the fastest. Runner and cyclist take the BeltLine Eastside Trail from point A to B while auto contestant takes the quickest route on Atlanta streets via GPS.
Guess who won?
Nowhere in Atlanta is the rebounding condo and townhome market more evident than along the soon-to-open Eastside BeltLine Trail. There you'll find -- gasp! -- new construction. This was inconceivable just a few months ago given the glut of condos and townhomes for sale. Location (x3) overcomes sluggish market forces on this amenity-rich linear park.
First place for supreme placement of new home construction goes to Highland Park, a new development of 66 townhomes by John Wieland Homes at the juncture of Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward. The development sits across the trail from Inman Park Village and will feature direct access to the trail. This location also links to the Freedom Parkway trail system.
These homes will be built facing the BeltLine, a practice sure to be adopted by existing buildings and commercial space along the bicycle superhighway and future transit line. These structures presented their less attractive side to the corridor when it was a freight line. Now they will have secondary storefronts and fascades to welcome trail and transit users.
Owners of traditionally-styled Highland Park homes will have easy access by foot or bicycle to some of the best parks, shopping, and dining that Atlanta has to offer like the Historic Old Fourth Ward Park and Ponce City Market, now under construction.
Stay tuned as we cover other exciting new construction along the Eastside trail. All of this adds up to a compelling example of the BeltLine as an upgrade of our city to Atlanta 2.0.
Designer model and sales center [denoted in red on site plan] are currently under construction.
My wife and I bicycled the BeltLine Eastside Trail this afternoon. The 14 foot wide concrete path stretches from Irwin Street on the south end to 10th Street and Monroe Drive (southeast corner of Piedmont Park) on the north end. Bicycling on the BeltLine is a breeze!
This changes everything for cycle commuters in the Piedmont Park, Virginia Highland, Poncey-Highland, Inman Park and the Old Fourth Ward areas.
A lot of people respond to the opening of a new Atlanta bicycle trail with a shrug. "So what? Atlanta has miles of them." Let me tell you: the BeltLine is a game-changer for intown trails. The secret sauce of this trail is that it reuses an old railroad right-of-way. The original rail line was surveyed and engineered for ease of transport and slight grades (usually 2% or less). If you've ever rode a Rail Trail like the Silver Comet, you know what I'm talking about. The difference between riding this exquisite path of least resistance and the hilly, pot-holed, dangerous streets of Atlanta can't be overstated. You glide over or under street intersections and never in the traffic. Granny and the kids can ride safely and with ease!
Bicycling is well-documented as the most efficient form of transportation known to man -- 5 times more efficient than using the train and 15 to 20 times more efficient than driving a car. If you look at the planned 33 mile loop of trail as a kind of inner perimeter highway for bikes, then the Eastside Trail could be the first segment of a spoke-and-hub bicycle superhighway. It's easy to envision surrounding municipalities wanting to connect their own rail trails to this superb transportation alternative. My advice is find any unused railroad rights-of-way or similar corridors that feed into the BeltLine and get 'er done. Plans are already underway for the Georgia 400 Trail, a 5 mile spoke trail that will link Buckhead to the BeltLine. And the case has already been made for developing the Full Loop of trail as a first priority.
With the transportation referendum defeated and gas climbing above $4 a gallon, time is of essence. Terminus redux, post haste!
Here are some of the gems and charms along this section of Atlanta's emerging emerald necklace:
- Piedmont Park
- Park Tavern
- Trader Joe's
- Midtown Cinema
- Whole Foods
- Home Depot
- CVS Pharmacy
- Paris on Ponce
- Ponce City Market (with a planned spur trail directly into the building)
- Dancing Goats Coffee Bar
- Historic Old Fourth Ward Park
- Skateboard Park
- Inman Park Village
- Parrish Restaurant
- Rathbun's Restaurant
- Irwin Street Market
Of course, embedded along this amenity-rich corridor are new and existing townhomes, condos and live/work lofts for sale with direct access to the BeltLine. Let me know if you'd like to take a look...
Maybe the Atlanta Bicycle Superhighway will need bicycle parking decks someday like they have in Amsterdam:
This Fall I will partner with Bicycle Tours of Atlanta to offer tours by bike to properties for sale along the BeltLine Eastside Trail.
My market focus goes beyond the energy-efficient, eco-friendly features inherent in a particular dwelling to include the community it is embedded in. My concentration is on properties that score high in location-efficiency [often more important than the building's energy efficiency]. These homes are generally found Intown Atlanta within some of the city's more bicycle-friendly neighborhoods and village settings, and often in proximity to MARTA, bike paths, and the coming BeltLine and Atlanta Streetcar. I like to call these properties "wheel estate." The BeltLine will eventually feature a 33+ mile loop of trail, allowing owners of wheel estate to enjoy a healthy lifestyle of connected communities with a reduced reliance on their cars. The first 2+ miles of the BeltLine Eastside Trail, extending from Irwin Street to Piedmont Park, officially opens Oct. 15, 2012.
Are you a buyer looking to burn more calories and less carbon? Are you looking to live a car-lite lifestyle on the BeltLine? Stay tuned for more information on my upcoming BeltLine Wheel Estate tours.
Get the flyer on Atlanta's Bicycle-Friendly Broker here.
Here in Atlanta, the age of alternative transportation via trails and transit is soon upon us.
Workers are busy constructing The Atlanta Streetcar two blocks to the west of where I sit writing this blog. When fare service begins in early 2013, electric streetcars will begin gliding through the city for the first time since Atlanta’s last streetcar ran on April 10th, 1949. This map shows how extensive the streetcar system was, back in the day:
More on how and why such an extensive system was dismantled in a moment.
The new streetcars will move in a loop from Centenial Park to the Martin Luther King, Jr. National Park via Edgewood and Auburn Avenues:
Two blocks to the east of my position is street level access from Irwin Street to the BeltLine Eastside Trail. This 2+ mile project is the first segment of multi-use path and linear greenspace to be built within the old railroad corridor of the planned 22 mile loop. Right-of-way for future streetcars is being preserved in the corridor parallel to the 14 foot wide concrete trail which will be open for use to cyclists, joggers, skaters, and pedestrians in July of 2012.
How long before streetcars run in the BeltLine? Sooner than you might think. If...
A vetted list of transportation projects will be put to vote by metro Atlanta citizens on July 31, 2012. If the penny sales tax passes, the list allocates $602 million to a transit project that will connect the Atlanta Streetcar to the Eastside Trail. Streetcars will travel north to Piedmont Park and east/west along North Avenue to the Westside corridor, which also has trail. The blue lines on the map below tell the story:
Seems like a logical expenditure of a portion of the Transportation Investment Act dollars given Atlanta’s notorious smog and traffic congestion woes, no? Alas, funding for the BeltLine or any other rail project is vigorously opposed by The Highway Lobby, one of the most powerful lobbies in the U.S., even if it is bundled with other road projects. Their version of the future accepts no competition for the business-as-usual of gasoline-powered automobiles and more road building/widening/repairing, ad infintum. It’s a story that begins way back in 1922. Watch the video below, Taken For a Ride, a documentary about the General Motors Streetcar Scandal. It explains how Atlanta, along with most other cities in the U.S., lost their electric streetcar service, and why we now have the worst public transportation and the most highways in the industrialized world. If a little comedy will help swallow this bitter pill, then rent Who Framed Roger Rabbit?.
A long-standing love affair with these policies at the local level has resulted in some of Atlanta’s more dubious honors like worst commute and most toxic city in the country. History can be reversed on July 31st. Vote yes for the TIA Referendum, and vote yes for the BeltLine.
Forward to the Past!