Tucker, GA — The future of downtown Tucker is becoming clearer after two presentations were made at the June 27 city council meeting, detailing possibilities for reimagining south of Main Street and the development of a new town green.
Tucker-Northlake CID, in partnership with Urban Land Institute (ULI), the city of Tucker, and Tucker’s Downtown Development Authority, is focusing on redevelopment south of the railroad tracks with a goal to maintain downtown’s historic character.
Concepts included adding residential space on top of Main Street retail shops and restaurants, controlling traffic to make the area pedestrian and bike friendly, repurposing industrial buildings and providing walkable density.
According to ULI, Tucker has a 40% rental population, with no new residential rental developments coming online in the last 12 months. That’s unheard of in this market, said ULI participant Shannon Judd, senior asset manager at Integral Group.
“You already have a lot of employment avenues coming into some of the old commercial space and Northlake. What are we doing to create affordable residential to keep those people living here, supporting retail, as well as giving people some place to go during the day and stay at night?” asked Judd.
Bringing more parking to downtown will encourage visitors to stay longer and spend more, Judd added.
Matthew Lee is the executive director of Tucker-Northlake CID, which works to attract new businesses through economic development and infrastructure improvements. Tucker-Northlake CID was instrumental in the revitalization of Main Street. Lee said Main Street didn’t change overnight, and south of Main won’t either.
ULI’s presentation is a “review of opportunities and a concept of what could happen,” said Lee.
ULI previously worked with Tucker-Northlake CID on the Downtown Tucker Parking Revitalization study in 2017, resulting in the city’s purchase of the Cofer Brothers’ RV lot on Railroad Avenue in September 2021 for $1.2 million. The property will become Tucker Town Green – a park for which Barge Design Solutions offered plans to the city council.
By presenting the city council with video of five parks of similar use and size, Raigan Carr and Laura Bradford of Barge Design Solutions described features that may work on Tucker Town Green. Each park provides shade, recreation and space for entertainment. Many town greens have public restrooms, screening from noise pollution, water features and imaginative play equipment.
Councilmember Anne Lerner said the town green concept is supposed to be welcoming for families, not a tourist attraction.
“We can have space for concerts, frisbee, laying out in the sun, reading a book, enjoying a meal… Seniors will want seating and shady spaces,” said Lerner. “This is not a waterpark, nor a playground.”
The use of the space for entertainment, parking and community engagement are all under consideration. Everything must be flexible, said Barge Executive Vice President Steve Provost. He’s designed parks that can transform from a parking lot to a farmers market.
Barge is collecting feedback from city council members and beginning to plan the space.
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