Old Fourth Ward ParkThe BeltLine took another step toward realization with an agreement with the Georgia Department of Transportation to acquire 3.5 additional miles of the corridor in the southwest and southeast portion of the project.

In the coming months, clean up will begin on these sections, which run from Allene Avenue to Lena Street in the southwest and from Wyle Street to Memorial Drive in the southeast. Neighborhoods involved are Murphy Crossing, Adair Park, West End, Westview, Mozely Park, Hunter Hills, Reynoldstown, Cabbagetown and North Ormewood Park.

With this agreement, nearly half of the planned BeltLine corridor has now been secured through purchase, lease or option – exceeding expectations for the project’s first five years of development.

In mid-September, Brian Leary was named President and Chief Executive Officer of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc., the implementing entity of the project.  Leary joins ABI from Atlantic Station, where he was vice president. He has worked there for 12 years during which he helped develop the former steel mill into a national model of sustainable development and smart growth.

Another significant update is that last month, MARTA indicated that it wanted to manage the BeltLine. The MARTA board agreed to enter negotiations with Atlanta BeltLine Inc. and the Atlanta Development Authority to operate or the system.

While these negotiations and acquisitions are under way, work continues on parks and property already under BeltLine domain. Construction on the the Historic Fourth Ward Park (pictured above), Boulevard Crossing Park and Atlanta Memorial Trail near Buckhead is, or about to be, under way, with completion next year.

Master plans for the Four Corners Park expansion in south Atlanta, Enota Park in southwest Atlanta and the 300-acre Westside Reservoir Park are completed and land acquisition and restoration has begun.

For more information about all the BeltLine projects, visit www.beltline.org.

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.