Grant Park getting a face lift

A mixed-use development is in the works near the corner of Memorial Drive and Boulevard.

John Reagan, Grant Park resident and partner of Urban Realty Partners, plans to redevelop the stretch of Memorial Drive that's currently home to a uniform shop, two tire shops and a check-cashing business. Blueprints for the one-acre plot have up to 10,000-square-feet of street-level retail shops and 70 residential condos on top. Reagan expects the commercial portion of the project to include a restaurant, boutiques and office space, all within walking distance of Oakland Cemetery.

The project, according to Reagan, is classic New Urbanism, with commercial and residential space, pedestrian-friendly walkways and stores on the sidewalk.

After spending four months waiting for permission from City Hall, Reagan received rezoning approval from Mayor Shirley Franklin on July 14. He says he plans to break ground on the site in October.

Although some Grant Park residents initially opposed the idea, complaining that the project would increase noise and traffic, Jocelyn Mills, Grant Park Neighborhood Association land use and zoning chair, says neighbors green-lighted the development several months ago. "The neighbors all wanted this," she says.

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