By Don Bender, Candler Park Resident.
CPNO Donation for Ongoing Maintenance Requested.
The initial phase of the fund-raising effort for the renovation of Findley Plaza is wrapping up. The L5P CID has estimated that the cost for the basic renovation would be $575,000. There are now adequate funds committed to achieve this renovation. Renew Atlanta funds in the amount of $400,000 was committed to the project by the L5P CID, which will be used to renovate the infrastructure of Findley Plaza. These funds will pay for the demolition of the current Plaza structure, the planting of street trees along Moreland Ave. and Euclid Ave, the installation of new sidewalks inside that tree line and the bringing of electrical service, lighting, irrigation etc. to the Plaza.
The CID accepted the responsibility to raise the money needed for the renovation of the interior portion of the Plaza, including, installation of pavers, street furniture, and any sculptures or special lighting. The cost for the interior improvements, which are not covered by Renew Atlanta funds, are projected to be $175,000. Little 5 Alive has received a $100,000 Legacy Grant from Park Pride for this renovation and the CID has completed the raising of $85,000 in additional funds from commercial property owners, business owners and the residential community, exceeding our target.
However, we do not have the final design from the City or the construction documents, so our projected costs have not been confirmed by the City. The final step will be for the City to get bids from contractors. Only then will we be able to confirm if our projected costs are right.
As we have been engaging in fund raising in the business community, a recurring concern expressed has been that we could have a renovated plaza while dealing with the same dysfunctional behavior we have now. People with mental, emotional, and addictive problems now congregate in and around the Plaza. Criminals then prey on the dysfunctional community as well as the rest of us. There is a companion article by Karen Taber in this same issue, about what we are doing currently to address this dysfunctional behavior.
Construction on the Plaza is expected to begin after Memorial Day, 2019. The CID envisions moving beyond the renovation of the Plaza and addressing the issues of the dysfunctional community. Specifically, the vision is to create a L5P Alliance. The community engagement process, a “discovery phase” is under way and soon to be completed under the leadership of Jennifer Ohme.
So, even though we’ve raised the money, projected to be needed for the renovation of the plaza, we are preparing to approach the broader Atlanta community, foundations and larger funders for a three-year activation budget. The newly created L5P Alliance would lead in raising these funds and in the activation of the Plaza and the transformation of L5P. We know that the more we raise from the business and residential community now, the more credibility we will have as we approach these larger funders.
Specifically, we have set an immediate target of raising an additional $15,000 to support the creation of the L5P Alliance. We would then have raised $100,000 from the local community, matching the Park Pride grant.
Those people or organizations who contribute $1,000 or more will be acknowledged in the Plaza, as has been true for the local funds raised to date. We are working now with the City, which has hired Pond & Company, a design and engineering firm, to finalize the design of the Plaza, including the place for these acknowledgements. The leading idea is to carve the acknowledgements in a granite border in the plaza surface.
We propose to raise half the $15,000 ($7,500) from Candler Park. We are requesting that CPNO contribute $5,000 toward that $7,500. Inman Park is being asked to contribute the other $7,500.