A year-end letter to Emory Village & the Druid Hills Community
from the Emory Village Alliance Board Chair
What’s Next for Emory Village?
Emory Village Alliance is your non-profit, volunteer-led community organization, focusing on the well-being and upkeep of the public realm areas of Emory Village. We are made up of community residents, Emory employees, businesses, and property owners, with a mission to promote Emory Village as a pedestrian-friendly, safe, and vibrant retail district.
As we wind down an eventful year, we want to share our achievements:
Visioning & Marketing Plan
EVA kicked off 2019 by imagining the future. The enthusiasm of our day-long visioning session coalesced around creating a marketing plan for the Village; and now, as the year closes, MBA students from Emory University’s Goizueta Business School have prepared a marketing strategy that will help us strengthen our messaging and use of social media, better connect to the community, and plan fun activities.
Druid Hills Living Room
After emerging from the roadway construction that created the streetscape and roundabouts, we turned our focus toward celebrating the gathering place that is now our community living room. We plan events such as the annual Open Streets Emory Village. We are excited about the momentum behind this growing event. Early in 2020, we will begin planning the 8th OSEV, and we’re considering some exciting new ideas.
Emory Village is a special district with its own overlay land use provisions and design guidelines. This means that new buildings with residential space over ground floor retail are allowed, at the same time preserving historically significant structures. For example, the former BP property could be redeveloped as a mixed-use area with dining, shops, and plaza space. EVA reviews and makes comments on proposed development projects, and we invite all interested parties to learn more about the Overlay District Guidelines.
Other initiatives that require funding include adding colorful banners to the Village light poles to highlight the changing seasons or upcoming events. We continue work toward lighting up the trees in the roundabout island (we are grateful for past financial support, which got us halfway to our goal). We are working with the county to complete the lighting project this spring, as well as repair the crosswalk paving and step light replacement. We’ve prepared designs for new streetscape improvements along the north portion of Oxford Road to improve safety and create a wide, pedestrian-friendly promenade.
Care and Maintenance
Since the completion of the roadwork eight years ago, EVA has worked with DeKalb County to care for the public realm areas, including maintenance of the trees and plantings along the streets, the fountain, well pump, and creek bank. Emory University contributes thousands of dollars of labor and materials annually to maintain the roundabout and plaza landscape.
We strongly support DHCA and the Southfork Conservancy in our common goal to improve our community. Our collaborations with Emory and DeKalb County, and our persistence in championing the Village, allow us to leverage their resources to accomplish more. If we want our community living room to better serve the interests of the neighborhood, we must take the lead.
EVA members commit hundreds of hours of volunteer time annually to resolve issues, design solutions, and plan events. To continue and grow our work, we need you—your tax-deductible financial contributions, as well as your volunteer time and talents. We are particularly interested in attracting a new generation to the cause, with new ideas and inspiration for the coming decades. Needed expertise includes design and construction, fundraising, social media, event planning, accounting, and administration.
As we begin to market the many advantages of Emory Village, please join with us. Visit us at emoryvillage.org to learn more. You are also invited to our monthly board meetings, held on the second Monday at Glenn United Church.
Todd Hill, Chair
Emory Village Alliance