How We Began: In 1999, concern over the declining state of Emory Village, prompted a small group of Druid Hills Civic Association (DHCA) members, neighbors, Emory Village businesses/property owners and representatives from Emory University to form a steering committee. Its sole purpose was to develop ideas to improve the Village’s future.
Today that committee has become a unique alliance representing these different stakeholders. Beginning with a series of community input sessions, we asked for wide-ranging recommendations, refined them, and made initial recommendations (link to http://www.emoryvillage.org/Docs/RevitalizationPlan.pdf)to implement them.
In 2001, AIEV became a non-profit organization, and was fortunate to receive expertise in urban design funded by Emory, DeKalb County and nominal seed money from DHCA.
Concepts Coalesce: Over the ensuing years, our proposals coalesced into a detailed plan that addressed every facet of the Village’s revitalization – from street and traffic improvements to business and residential redevelopment – all of which will lead toward the Village’s ongoing commercial success. What we envisioned, and the community endorsed, was a live-work-play concept with new apartment/condo housing above retail and office spaces.
In fact, our original mission statement still holds true today, after nearly a decade of work. Our goal is:
To create a safe, economically viable, walkable, and compact mixed-use community that is compatible with and a resource to the historic Druid Hills neighborhoods and Emory University.
In 2003, the Emory Village Revitalization Plan achieved designation as a “Livable Center” by the Atlanta Regional Commission and received a $2.1 million grant for use primarily to fund public improvements, such as the streetscape enhancements. The plan also attracted nearly $1 million in matching funds from DeKalb County for traffic, street and pedestrian improvements – including a roundabout to replace the Village’s congested main intersection.
In 2006, AIEV submitted zoning overlay and design guidelines to the DeKalb County Historic Preservation Commission, which unanimously approved them. Back to top
An Historic Decision: In early 2007, AIEV submitted the zoning overlay and guidelines to the DeKalb County Board of Commissioners. Over the next several months, the commissioners listened to extensive community input regarding new building heights, density and setbacks, all of which were necessitated by redevelopment costs.
In May 2007, the commissioners unanimously approved AIEV’s zoning overlay and design guidelines, thus setting a new direction for Emory Village – one that would create a community commercial center that is economically viable and in the best long-term interests of Druid Hills residents, Emory Village and Emory University.
Now the Emory Village Alliance, as well as thousands of residents and Emory personnel, are enjoying DeKalb County streetscape improvements and are safely navigating the new roundabout. Almost 40 trees have been planted thoughout the Village, and a fountain and sculpture now grace the new Emory Village Plaza, which has become the welcoming centerpiece of the village.
In 2014, the Board of Directors voted to change the name to Emory Village Alliance. EVA continues to explore opportunities to improve public spaces including expanding the boundaries of the revitalization area. We also aim to nurture and support private sector development, support community events in the Village, and encourage strong community and business engagement.