Dunwoody’s first years as a city were a time for planning, Mayor Mike Davis said, and, in 2013, “our goal is to turn … our vision into reality.”

“It’s time for us to act,” the mayor said during his 2013 State of the City address on Feb. 19.

He outlined large and small projects planned for the city, including new designs for troubled road intersections, upgrading amenities in city parks, the Dunwoody Village Parkway project and the redevelopment in the Georgetown area of the city.

After four years of citizen-driven planning for parks, roads and land use, the city is moving forward,” he told more than 300 people gathered in the ballroom at the Crowne Plaza Atlanta Perimeter at Ravinia hotel. “We are coming out of our planning phase and entering an ‘implementation phase.’”

During his State of the City address on Feb. 19, Mayor Mike Davis said the city was entering an “implementation phase” for city plans.
During his State of the City address on Feb. 19, Mayor Mike Davis said the city was entering an “implementation phase” for city plans.

Davis did not directly address opposition that has arisen against some of projects, including a multi-use trail in Brook Run Park and the new design for the Dunwoody Village Parkway.

He did note that in the case of the intersection of Vermack and Womack roads, “the neighbors obviously don’t want a roundabout.” But, he added, “what we have right now is not good and it’s failing, so we’ve got to do something.”

The mixed-use Georgetown project, known as Project Renaissance, is being developed through a partnership between the city and John Wieland Homes and Neighborhoods.

Wieland will build more than 100 new homes, and the city will add four new parks, including a large green with an amphitheater and a multi-use trail and connection to Brook Run Park, the mayor said. “I expect in the next few years all the old buildings in that part of town will be revitalized and the area will spring back to life,” he said.

Davis described the Dunwoody Village Parkway project, which includes narrowing the four-lane road to two lanes and adding bike and pedestrian paths, as “our version of Decatur’s Courthouse Square or Roswell’s Canton Street.”

“This has the potential to be the backbone of a revitalized downtown in Dunwoody Village,” he said.

The mayor also mentioned taking an unused building and turning it into a tennis facility intended to attract tennis competitions. “It’s in baby steps now,” he said.

He also praised the city’s police department. He said Dunwoody should be careful to avoid a reputation for crime like the one that plagued Buckhead in the wake of the arrest of NFL star Ray Lewis after a stabbing at a nightclub in 2000. “Look back at what happened in Buckhead,” he said. “Buckhead had to implode itself and start over.”

Overall, Davis predicted 2013 would be “an exciting and transformative” year.

“If our first four years were about planning and preparing, 2013 and beyond are about implementation and action,” he said. “We now need to take the vision we’ve established for what we can be and put our muscle behind getting it built.”

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Joe Earle

Joe Earle is Editor-at-Large. He has more than 30-years of experience with daily newspapers, including the Atlanta Journal-Constitution and was Managing Editor of Reporter Newspapers.