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What Should Go Here?: Pullman Yard

Surrounded by renaissance, a large swath of Kirkwood languishes.

On a recent trip through the Kirkwood neighborhood, I pulled off onto Rogers Street and headed toward DeKalb Avenue.

For the 12 years I've lived in Atlanta I've always heard and read stories about the Pullman Yard, once part of a thriving enterprise that fell into bankruptcy and now is state-owned.

The 100-year-old, 28-acre swath of real estate always seemed to be under "the next big thing" status. After all, Atlanta spent the final years of the 20th century and much of the first decade in the 21st under bevy of construction crane, redevelopment and renaissance.

A lot of those efforts helped East Atlanta Patch neighborhoods. Glenwood Park saw its birth, while East Atlanta experienced a renaissance.

Edgewood welcomed (in the end, at least) the Edgewood Retail District, and other neighborhoods including Cabbagetown and Reynoldstown experienced and continue to see an influx of new residents snapping up homes and restoring them.

Kirkwood, too, has seen resurgence in the last few years.

Despite that, the Pullman Yard seems to just sit there. There have been plans and ideas, of course, from developers and builders.

The Kirkwood community itself has met and formulized plans for its vision for how the site should be redeveloped.

And residents of neighboring communities have had their ideas, too.

"I believe it may be one of the largest unused tracts of undeveloped property within city of Atlanta limits," East Atlanta Patch reader Cyrus Parsifal, wrote in an e-mail, in which he suggested we look at Pullman Yard.

"Either way it would change dynamics of east Atlanta if redeveloped."

Jonathan Lewis, another reader from Lake Claire, suggests it might be repurposed as a sporting complex.

"A bunch of us in the area think it should become soccer fields, perhaps an expansion to the Arizona fields run by AYSA," Lewis wrote. "The historic buildings would get re-used somehow, of course."

The sports-complex idea is one that Candler Park resident David Epstein also pushed recently at a meeting of the Candler Park Neighborhood Organization.

What do you think would be the best use of the Pullman Yard? How would you like to see it and its buildings reuse and or restored?

About this column: What ideas do you have for the revitalization of a building or property?

Webb Roberts October 17, 2012 at 07:45 PM
How about movie/tv sound stages and or a fair ground with rides. Both would provide local intown attractions.
Earl Williamson, RN October 18, 2012 at 12:11 PM
For those interested KIRKWOOD's plan for development of it's Pratt Pullman site is available here: http://ivic02.residentinteractive.com/programs/download.pdf?xinput=63297988&sid=9604 It does not support "big box" approaches but rather proposes mixed commercial residential uses respectful of the site's historical structures, adjacent school and greenspaces, and adjacent single family residences.
Tomathy October 18, 2012 at 03:22 PM
Kirkwood Skatepark
Kwood Puff October 18, 2012 at 04:08 PM
A big box would never come to Pullman Yards. The traffic access and visibility form heavily traveled corridors is poor.
Scott_Grant_Park_East_Side October 19, 2012 at 02:03 AM
Soccer fields with jogging trails, bike paths, and dog park.

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