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Seven-Prong Plan Unveiled For Boulevard

Mini-precinct, street clean-ups, jobs targeted for youth part of multi-step approach at Boulevard revitalization effort.

Flanked by police, city officials, business and community leaders, Atlanta's District 2 City Councilman Kwanza Hall unveiled a seven-prong strategy Thursday that he said will give the Old Fourth Ward's Boulevard corridor the attention it deserves and the catalyst for a much-needed revitalization.

The seven parts of the plan of the "" drew cheers from those in attendance at the Fourth Ward Alliance Neighborhood Association Thursday night.

One component, however — allowing the Atlanta Police Department to use an apartment in the Bedford-Pines housing complex as an arrestee booking and processing center — drew the ire of one heckler.

Bedford-Pines, a 700-unit complex of federally subsidized Section 8 apartments, has been criticized as being the source of many of the problems plaguing Boulevard.

But T. Gene Lockard, who is Southeast regional vice president for Wingate Management Co., which operates Bedford-Pines, said the company has consistently made efforts to be a good neighbor in the Old Fourth Ward.

For example, he said the company spends some $300,000 year hiring off-duty police officers to supplement patrols.

Wingate's participation in Hall's Boulevard effort underscores the company's commitment to being a community partner, he said.

In an earlier interview, Hall said the revitalization strategy is part public safety, with the aim of reducing crime and part opportunity, the goal being to find ways to give teens with something constructive to do.

To that end, the plan he laid out includes:

  • An Atlanta Police Department mini-precinct within the Atlanta Medical Center that will be home to the
  • Wingate's management donating an apartment within the complex that will serve as a processing and booking center for people who are arrested
  • Wingate's cash contribution to the 4th Ward Security Patrol, the neighborhood watch group
  • Atlanta Workforce Development Agency and Mt. Zion Baptist Church hosting a series of job fairs for youth
  • Installing garbage cans along the Boulevard corridor
  • The city's parks and recreation department creating a summer jobs program targeting kids who specifically live in Bedford-Pines
  • Neighborhood beautification and trash clean-up events and code enforcement
Tammy January 13, 2012 at 06:14 PM
During the Christmas season, I used to love driving by the house on Boulevard that would use fake snow to write "Christmas House, Ho!" all over the front glass.
Péralte Paul January 13, 2012 at 09:38 PM
Only in Atlanta, LOL.
Sharon Foster Jones January 18, 2012 at 01:41 PM
FYI--There is a Bedford Pines unit run by Wingate at 484 North Highland Avenue in Inman Park.
Chris F. May 13, 2012 at 06:29 PM
All of this is a top down approach. Successful community redevelopment must come from the inside out. You've got to build human capital within the community. I haven't heard anything engagement with the actual residents of the area. I am in the camp that believes there is no way the city is going to let most of the people stay on Boulevard (or even Atlanta) long term. With the City Hall East redevelopment over the next 10 years, the Boulevard corridor is the one area left to be cleaned out by the city and developers.
Péralte Paul May 13, 2012 at 07:04 PM
Hi, Chris F.: That human capital aspect is part of it, too. There's several efforts regarding the kids who live on Blvd. and opportunities for them: http://patch.com/A-sDGY and http://patch.com/A-sRQ4.

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