The Legacy Park dairy barn, built circa 1900, was once a centerpiece for the old United Methodist Children’s Home. It’s estimated that it will cost $50,000 to $100,000 to stabilize the structure, and that’s not counting any possible renovations. Potential future uses for the historic structure include a farmers market, concession stand or special events facility. Bill Banks for the AJC

Plan doesn’t outline “affordable” housing for Decatur’s Legacy Park

The Decatur Legacy Park Master Plan, approved by commissioners two weeks ago, is essentially a guide for using the 77 acres that was formerly the United Methodist Children’s Home. The plan portions the property into broad thematic sections including green space that will remain mostly unchanged, recreation, historic buildings for adaptive reuse, a creative village, a community garden and various housing types.

But specific details and timetables for the individual areas won’t begin emerging until creation of a comprehensive development site plan, and that won’t commence until the entire tract is annexed into the city, probably next spring.

The master plan is intentionally vague about housing types and number of units. Many of the roughly 2500 community comments the city received over the past 10 months expressed a need for “affordable” or “work force” housing.

It remains to be seen how much control the city will have over potential affordable housing. The master plan shows a north and south housing villages. The plan recommends that the north village get filled with single-family homes including cottage-type units and the south with high-density structures like apartments and duplexes. All housing would be newly built.

There are a total 31 building on site, 25 slated for preservation and adaptive reuse. These include the seven buildings (six are granite) that were built between 1903 and 1919.

The single most expensive project is the running track with an estimated $4 to $7 million cost and a projected construction date 10 to 15 years away. But a Decatur collective calling itself “The Legacy Park Athletics and Recreation Coalition,” began meeting in July with hopes of getting the facility built sooner, cheaper and possibly in phases.

The master plan also calls for aligning Katie Kerr Drive with Kirk Road and aligning the property’s southern most entrance off South Columbia Drive with Inman Drive.

The master plan estimates that the circa-1900 dairy barn will cost $50,000 to $100,000 for stabilization. Potential uses include a farmers market, concession stand or special events facility.

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