Despite all that’s going on in the world right now, this is an exciting time of progress in the City of Tucker. You’ve seen and heard about new sidewalks downtown, along Henderson Road, on Cowan, Idlewood, Hugh Howell and elsewhere. You’ve seen and heard about new developments at Northlake Mall, and on the old Sears property at Mountain Industrial and Hugh Howell. And you’ve seen and heard about the exciting developments involving the PATH in Tucker and our plan to reactivate the old street and alley grid system in the downtown district.
I’m excited to announce one more breakthrough in our efforts to elevate our downtown as the center of the City’s community life. Are you familiar with the old library on Church Street? If you’ve lived in Tucker more than a decade, chances are you took the kids and got your library books there at some point. If you’re newer to the City, chances are you’ve only known it as a run down, graffiti-plagued eyesore.
In the early days of our becoming a city, we began negotiating with DeKalb County over ownership of this building. I long saw this as a critical piece of downtown real estate where we could build a municipal center, activating that whole side of downtown and connecting it with Main Street. As those negotiations moved along in fits and starts, the City acquired several properties along Lavista Road in front of the abandoned library. This gave us high visibility and easy ingress and egress for when we were able to assemble the whole tract with the old library property.
Last month, after a lot of work by our staff and our partners at the County, we bought ourselves a library. Now, this building has fallen into such disrepair (including mold and asbestos) the first step is to get it cleared off and cleaned up. We’ve already begun that process, along with considering how to put the property to best use until we develop it for the long term. Take a look at the map and imagine with me the catalyst this property will be for the revitalization of that segment of our downtown. We have poured countless hours into figuring out how to improve our Main Street. And soon you’ll see through our alley plan and the first leg of our PATH trail plan just how special and accessible Main Street can be. DeKalb County has contributed significant capital into Phase Two of the Tucker Streetscape along First Avenue, and we contributed about $1 million to get it over the finish line. That project promises to extend and expand the charm of Main Street several blocks in all directions..
I’m proud of the dedicated service of your Council and city staff to keep moving us ahead during this most difficult year. When we finally put this pandemic behind us, Tucker will already be running full speed toward the future, and your downtown will be well on its way to being the hub of activity we’ve been envisioning. It will most certainly fulfill my vision of the kind of place where people will want to Live, Work, Play and Pray.
As we flip the calendar to 2021, we won’t just be putting a difficult time behind us, we’ll be opening the door to an exciting future, and I can’t wait to get there with you.