Avondale Estates hires firm to design downtown street grid

Avondale Estates’ commission has approved spending $27,600 to hire architecture and engineering firm Pond & Company to design potential street grid improvements west of the downtown business district.

This area includes a number of streets dead-ending or taking 90-degree turns before dead- ending. City officials have long discussed of the possibility of cleaning up this vicinity as a precursor to attracting development

City Manager Patrick Bryant said on Oct. 22 there is no time line for Pond to complete its work. He added that it’s currently unknown which streets could get extended or connected.

Last May Mayor Jonathan Elmore suggested several possibilities, including connecting Parry Street and Washington Street. Both run east-west along the southern edge of the old Fenner Dunlop Mill site, now owned by Avila Real Estate, dead-ending about 200 yards before joining.

Elmore also mentioned extending Franklin St. (a brief lane between Center and Oak Streets) and also extending Center and Lake Street, north-south roads that both dead-end at the Avila site. A portion of Franklin is also being considered as a pedestrian-only path for a possible future development west of downtown.

“There will be linked streets in both directions making the city far more pedestrian friendly,” Patrick said. “I don’t’ know if the grid would align with [Avila’s future development]. Ideally there would be seamless connectivity throughout downtown.”