In the 19th and early 20th centuries, Fort McPherson’s Historic Village was a walkable place, wholly. We intend to build on the character of the stately homes along Staff Row. We expect the Historic Village will attract the creative community and entrepreneurs who will open cafes, studios, art galleries and bed-and-breakfast lodging to complement the homes and parade ground.
We acknowledge the challenges ahead. Having only been known as a military facility, Fort McPherson lacks a “development identity.” The surrounding area is economically depressed. Retail structures are in disrepair. There is little investment along the Campbellton Road and Lee Street corridors. That said, we believe positive, incremental change is possible. We have the full support of Atlanta and Georgia and their economic development agencies. The entire campus lies within the Campbellton Road Tax Allocation District, which will provide much-needed infrastructure funding.
This summer, ownership of Fort McPherson will transfer from the U.S. Army to the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority. We stand ready to transform a shuttered base into a vibrant community.
Jack C. Sprott is executive director of the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority.