New Emory Village Park Celebrates Opening

dedicationThe Alliance to Improve Emory Village dedicated Emory Village Park on November 8, 2012 and what a grand evening it was! An Emory brass band welcomed more than 200 supporters of the new green space. The crowd oohed and aahed over the bubbling fountain, the trolley rail sculpture that soars over the brick plaza, and newly planted trees and shrubs.  There were, of course, speeches, plentiful appetizers donated by Saba Restaurant, and profuse thanks to the scores of contributors who helped make the new park possible. See more photos.

“Tonight is an evening to celebrate this historic area and revitalization in this inviting, lovely and safe gathering space that honors our history and looks to the future,“ said AIEV former Chair Lois Berthaume.

She thanked DeKalb County Commissioners Kathy Gannon and Jeff Rader for their leadership, encouragement, and support to help make the village revitalizationdedication2 and the park a reality from the inception of the idea to its realization.

The dedication capped off efforts to “Save the Village” that began in 1998 when the former Emory Kroger—the long-time unofficial gathering place for many neighbors—announced that it was closing.  Despite community protests, the market left. But in its wake emerged a coalition of neighbors, Emory representatives, and business and property owners, who came together to envision Emory Village’s future and doggedly work to make it a reality. More than a decade of community efforts have resulted in a pedestrian and business friendly center for neighbors, businesses and Emory University.

Commissioner Gannon noted that the equal partnership grew stronger with the support of the Urban Land Institute, a Living Communities Initiative grant, and DeKalb County.

Today sidewalks and road changes, including a roundabout, now safely welcome traffic of all types—walkers, cyclists, wheelchairs and autos move fluidly and safely through the village. More than 40 trees and countless plantings are in place, new and existing businesses are thriving, others are planned, and the stage is set for redevelopment of Village properties consistent with revitalization goals adopted by the community.

dedication3Commissioner Rader said the village streetscapes, roundabout, and park were designed from “robust public inclusion and participation. The results are that the cars are moving through the intersection, the people are moving among the cars and to the businesses, and we’re standing tonight in this gracious and welcoming place.  Imagine the future when there will be new buildings and businesses.”

Todd Hill, current AIEV and park chair, noted that this was the first time so many people could gather outdoors in Emory Village’s “living room.”  Hill, who designed the park, thanked the many people and businesses who had given their time, talents and more than $70,000 in financial support to the village.  Among those recognized were Ted Kelly, owner of Architectural Fountains and Pools, who donated the  “Mary Kelly Fountain” in honor of the Marys in his life (his wife and mother).dedication5

The fountain sculpture—created from old trolley rails unearthed during roundabout construction—was designed and donated by Charles Calhoun, Calhoun Design and Metal Works. Hill also thanked Cousins Development for diverting pavers from the Emory Point project so the park project could be completed.

While the fountain provides a soothing background ambience of flowing water, Hill noted that it was designed as well for sustainability.  Water from the nearby 465-foot well recirculates in the fountain and will irrigate the plantings in the park as well as some of the Village landscaping.

He also thanked Taylor Wright and Monty Rawls who oversaw the streetscape and park project for DeKalb County; Steve Probost and jB&a Landscape Architects who created the park documents; Lewellen Construction and FOSCO who were responsible for the park construction; and Ruppert Landscape Co. who installed the plantings. In addition to financial support, Emory swapped land in exchange for Georgia Power to bury utility lines under North Decatur Road. Emory has also agreed to maintain the park for seven years.
dedication4A month before the dedication, passers-by saw mostly dirt in the small patch of land between the roundabout and the Chevron station. But by Thursday November 8, the plaza had been bricked, trees and shrubs installed, the 2000-pound sculpture placed, the power turned on, water was flowing, and the first outdoor public gathering in Emory Village Park was a huge success.

 

“AIEV has set a great precedent with this party,” Gannon observed, predicting many more public gatherings in the new space.  “Our community will have much more fun here than we did at Kroger.“

AIEV is still seeking donations for the finishing touches for the park. Click here to make a donation today.

 

 

The Alliance to Improve Emory Village is now Emory Village Alliance (EVA)

(Oct. 12, 2014) For more than a dozen years, the partnership of Emory Village, surrounding neighborhoods, and Emory University has successfully shepherded major improvements in traffic control, pedestrian safety, and economic viability in the commercial district.

The Alliance has worked closely with DeKalb County on street improvements, a zoning overlay, and design guidelines for future development within the Village. It has raised almost $100,000 to create and maintain Emory Village Plaza and fountain, which has become a welcome gathering spot for the entire community.

The funds were also used to install benches, trash cans and bike racks, as well as plant more trees throughout the Village.   While there’s more work to be done, EVA chair David Payne says the Alliance board voted recently to shorten the name to reflect its evolving nature and mission.

“Over the years,  we’ve clearly lived up to the ‘Improve’ in our previous ‘Alliance to Improve Emory Village’ name.  EVA is now the primary connecting point for the residential, academic, and business communities, starting new traditions like Streets Alive DeKalb,”  Payne says.   “This year for the first time, the Village was a trolley stop during the Druid Hills Tour of Homes, during which EVA sponsored jazz in the plaza and talks in several restaurants about home improvement, landscaping, and historic renovation.”

In recent years, business collaboration has also grown. Today village businesses are co-sponsoring events and promotions and seeking common solutions to ongoing challenges, such as parking and accessibility. With the Village as its “front door,” Emory continues to be an important partner, sharing the community’s interest in having a viable business center in which to dine, shop and play.

EVA is also looking beyond its borders to provide more connectivity to nearby amenities such as Burbanck Park.

 

(Oct. 12, 2014)

Open Streets 2016 Schedule

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  Car-Free, Human-Powered Fun
         for the  Whole Family! 

Scheduled Events:

Time                         Event                                          Location

2:45                        Sewhe Village Drummers                           Majik Cleaners

3:00                        Halloween Parade                                     Gather at Panera

3:20                        Halloween Parade Photo

3:30                         Small Group No. 9  A cappella                  Plaza

4:00                        Nonessential Band                                       Plaza

4:00                        Best Dog Costume,Tricks Contests        Grassy Field

4:30                         Glenn Memorial Youth Choir                     Plaza

5:00                         Imperial OPA Trapeze Act                       Grassy Field

5:25                          Sewhe Village Drummers                         Plaza

5:45                           Rocket 88 Band                                       Plaza

6:45                           Imperial OPA Circus Fire Act             Slice & Pint

 

Ongoing: 

Puppet Factory                            N. Decatur Road

Ambient OPA  Circus                 N. Decatur and S. Oxford

Climbing Wall                              Slice & Pint parking lot

Bouncy House                              Saba parking lot

Giant Chess                                  S. Oxford Road

Face Painting                               S. Oxford Road

Fire Engine                                   N. Decatur Road

Artist Market                                N. Decatur Road

Village Plans

EVA has been working on plans to redevelop Emory Village since 2000. Below is a construction timetable of that work, plus links to the actual planning documents.

Road improvements on North Decatur Road and the long-planned roundabout in Emory Village began in August 2010.

The construction comprised the third phase of the project. First, outdated water lines along North Decatur Road were replaced by DeKalb County. This project began in mid-January 2009.  The second phase involved burying power lines and other utilities along North Decatur Road. Georgia Power managed this project.

Both of these projects had to be completed before DeKalb County could begin the final roadwork project, the roundabout. That project officially began August 11, with work on installing new sidewalks, on North Decatur Road from Peavine Creek to Everybody’s and moving Oxford Road on the north side to make room for the roundabout . As a precursor to the county’s roundabout work, Emory University recently completed its new entrance, which will provide additional space needed to develop the roundabout.

  • Key Planning Documents Related to Emory Village:
  • 2002 Reviitalization Plan (PDF)
  • 2006 Design Guidelines (PDF)
  • 2007 Zoning Overlay District (PDF)
  • 2010 Roundabout Landscape Plans
  • 2010 Construction Stages for Roundabout and Street Scapes (PDF)
  • Emory Village Roundabout Rendering (PDF)

Tips for Navigating a Roundabout

(Courtesy of PEDS, an Atlanta-based pedestrian advocacy organization at www.peds.org)

Pedestrians:

  1. Never walk through a roundabout or cross through the center island (motorists expect you will use the crosswalks and will look for you there).
  2. As pedestrians approach the crosswalk, look LEFT to make sure cars stop for you.
  3. Cross to the next pedestrian island, and look RIGHT to make sure cars stop for you.  Finish crossing to the opposite crosswalk.

Cyclists:

  1. Cyclists should walk their bicycles across the pedestrian crosswalk.
  2. If riding in the roundabout, navigate it like motorists.
  3. Do not hug the curb.  Ride in the middle of the lane to prevent vehicles from passing you.
  4. Stop for pedestrians in crosswalks.  Signal when making turns out of the roundabout. For more information on safe cycling, visit www. bike.emory.edu.

Motorists:

  1. When approaching the roundabout, slow down to the posted speed.  Stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk; they have the right-of-way.
  2. As drivers enter the roundabout, yield to approaching vehicles.  Wait for a gap in traffic, and merge RIGHT into the roundabout.
  3. When in the roundabout, continue until you reach your street. Never stop for other cars while in the roundabout.
  4. To exit the roundabout, signal, then bear right to exit the roundabout.  Stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk while exiting.

Yogli-Mogli Frozen Yogurt is the Village’s Newest Cool Spot

yogliAs Emory Village streetscape improvements get underway, everyone from construction workers to Emory students to neighbors now have a fun, delicious place to enjoy a cool treat. Yogli-Mogli is a new metro-Atlanta franchise, with several locations – the latest being at 1403 Oxford Rd., in part of the old Druid Hills Bookstore space. They’ve dressed it up with a new brick facing, an outdoor patio, and a room in the back that can be rented for special events.

The décor is bright and colorful, which fits right in with Yogli-Mogli’s 16 varieties of nutritious, low-fat frozen yogurt, plus over 40 diverse toppings, including lots of healthy, fresh-cut fruit selections. Everything is self-serve, so you can mix and match your favorite flavors and toppings – plus, it’s sold by the ounce, which means “you can get exactly how much of a treat you want at the price you want,” according to manager Twyla Miranda.

During streetscape and roundabout construction, it’s more important than ever to support all the businesses in the Village – so come give yourself a cool treat at the new Yogli-Mogli!

Hours: Mon.-Thurs., 10 – 10; Fri.-Sat., 10 – 11; Sun., 11 – 11. Phone: 404-377-2108

 

(August 31, 2010 )