The park would stretch from Atlanta Financial Center on Peachtree Road to the Lenox Road-Ga. 400 interchange. It would essentially cover Ga. 400 and the transit station, creating an at-grade and walkable connection to apartment towers and office buildings now cut off by the highway.
MARTA recently finished a pedestrian bridges over Ga. 400 to its Buckhead Station platform to enhance accessibility. The park design concept would be far more extensive and likely far eclipse the price of the MARTA project, which totaled $32 million.
The Buckhead park would likely cost more than $150 million, Durrett said.
Durrett said he expects the project, if the board opts to go forward, will likely require private and public money in addition to CID funds. The RFP also will examine maintenance and operations costs and try to identify how the park might generate revenue, such as from performance space or dedicating space for businesses such as restaurants.
Durrett compared the project to Klyde Warren Park in Dallas, a 5.2-acre “deck park” over the Woodall Rodgers Freeway.
Other cities have taken similar steps to cap unsightly highways and expand green space or fill out street grids. In Atlanta, the Fifth Street bridge park over the Downtown Connector linking Georgia Tech and Midtown is similar in concept, though smaller.
Durrett said current and former CID board members, including noted developer Charlie Ackerman, have discussed such a project for several years. The central part of Buckhead’s business district, Durrett said, lacks greenspace and a central gathering spot.