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ARC’s 2020 Development of Excellence Awards Recognize Innovative Development and Visionary Planning

Atlanta — Nov 13, 2020

The Atlanta Regional Commission today announced the winners of the 2020 Developments of Excellence awards, which recognizes developments and places that are improving quality in communities across metro Atlanta. The 2020 awards recognized catalytic projects in four categories.

 The 2020 Development of Excellence Awards winners were announced at the ARC State of the Region Breakfast on November 13, 2020.

Visionary Planning

North Point Placemaking Plan

City of Alpharetta, MKSK Studios

The North Point Placemaking Plan aims to transform a six-hundred-acre area in the City of Alpharetta between Ga. 400 and Big Creek Greenway from an auto-dominated environment into a walkable, mixed-use district. The project will connect the North Point area to a multi-use trial network through an extension of the Alpha Loop and use of the existing Big Creek Greenway. Other recommended improvements include green infrastructure, public art, and wi-fi connectivity.

Innovative Development

Adamsville Place

Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, Fulton County, Atlanta Heights Charter School, and Laurel Street Residential

The Adamsville Place development in southwest Atlanta fills an important need in south Fulton County, providing 300 affordable housing units, a health center, and a charter school, all serviced by an onsite MARTA bus stop.

The 32-acre planned community features Creekside, an affordable apartment community, which features amenities such as an outdoor pavilion, playground, and fitness room. The development offers residents social and recreational programs as well as enrichment classes in budgeting, computer tutoring, and gardening, as well courses in health and fitness.

Adamsville also boasts Martin House, a 152-unit affordable community for seniors, offering many social and recreational programs, and even a community-run food pantry. The campus-like community includes Atlanta Heights Charter School, which serves 750 students in grades K-8, and the Adamsville Health Center, which offers nursing services, and cancer screenings.

Great Place

Powder Springs – LCI Implementation: Town Green and Historic Building Renovations

City of Powder Springs, Powder Springs Downtown Development Authority

The City of Powder Springs utilized a Livable Centers Initiative implementation grant to renovate and double the size of its Town Green area.. Town Green is now a true anchor for the vibrant Powder Springs community, featuring a multi-use amphitheater, splash pad, play structure, seating areas, restrooms, and even a permanent ping-pong table.

The project also includes the rehabilitation of three nearby buildings for restaurant and retail uses. This Great Place also promotes walking and biking with a trailhead extension from Main Street along the park that will one day connect to the Silver Comet Trail.

Livable Center

Decatur East

Columbia Residential, Decatur Development Authority, MARTA

Decatur East transforms a former parking lot at the Avondale MARTA station into a bustling mixed-use, transit-oriented development with an affordable housing component. The development boasts 92 units of affordable senior living and 22,000 square feet of commercial space sized for start-ups and local businesses.

The project ties the existing MARTA pedestrian bridge into expanded and improved pedestrian facilities, including Decatur’s Safe Routes to School, the PATH Foundation’s East Decatur Greenway, and connection to the Stone Mountain and Downtown Atlanta trails. The construction of a new east-west street, as well as publicly accessible plazas, substantial landscaping and street lighting, improved pedestrian crossings and sidewalks with amenities, are anticipated to encourage the use of alternative transportation in the area.

Honorable Mention

The Park at Highway 29 Ballfields

Union City

The Park at Highway 29 Ballfields began as an idea for developing an urban park project that would catalyze revitalization in Union City. The project included the renovation of an athletic field, extensive landscaping, and development of an amenities area. Redevelopment of the park led to the construction of a community center, resulting in a sense of place for Union City and a safe place for kids to play and residents to socialize.


The Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) is the official planning agency for the 10-county Atlanta Region, including Cherokee, Clayton, Cobb, DeKalb, Douglas, Fayette, Fulton, Gwinnett, Henry and Rockdale counties as well as the City of Atlanta and 73 other cities.  The Atlanta Regional Commission serves as a catalyst for regional progress by focusing leadership, attention and planning resources on key regional issues.

Contact Name: Junior Knox
Contact Phone: O: 470-378-1648 M: 404-357-5317
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