On Monday February 10 the City of Tucker voted unanimously to accept the Downtown Master Plan that was jointly sponsored by the City of Tucker and the Tucker-Northlake Community Improvement District (CID). The consultant-driven effort was developed as an outgrowth of the City’s first Comprehensive Plan, which detailed as one of the principal goals the enhancement of downtown Tucker. The plan lays out a vision and strategy for attracting quality development to Tucker’s historic downtown core. The plan was able to take advantage of the new integrated zoning districts for the downtown that vastly simplified a complex array of zoning and design guidelines.
A key discovery of the plan was that the City would be able to reengage the original network of alleys that have been long ignored. By activating these alleys, the City can create new dynamic public spaces while creating further redevelopment opportunities. Connecting dead end streets and using alleys for pedestrian access will encourage more of the community to patronize and enjoy the unique downtown.
“This was the right time to examine how we can best utilize the properties in the downtown,” said Cofer Bros. CEO and key downtown landowner Chip Cofer. “I see where the consultants have identified potential redevelopment opportunities, as well as ideal locations for green space and needed parking.”
The recommendations were developed through an extensive public outreach process with over 600 surveys and interviews with downtown property owners and businesses. The common themes heard were the need for increased walkability, more varied housing types, and greenspace with increased restaurants and shops. The study also identified that there was demand for retail, office and residential units in the downtown, as well defining a potential area for open containers.
Consultant Adam Williamson of TSW remarked on the depth of engagement from the citizens.
“This was a process in which we actively collaborated locally on a vison that will enhance the area,” Williamson explained. “We saw so many opportunities for redevelopment identified within the historic street grid. Along with the upcoming trail project, improvements to the alleys and added green space, downtown will be even more of a destination.”
Rick Porter, a developer that focuses on downtown redevelopment projects was impressed.
“The plan captured that authentic existing character of downtown Tucker and integrated it into policies, programs and regulations that will allow the downtown to redevelop without losing that charm,” added Rick Porter, a developer who focuses on downtown redevelopment projects.
Michael Vorndran, co-owner of the Corner Cup on Main Street, was also actively tracking this project.
“I’m very impressed that the City is proactive on the growth of the downtown,” he said. “Now I want to see this plan implemented and more coffee drinkers in my store.”
And that’s a sentiment I think we can all raise a glass (or coffee cup) to!