CID gets grant for tennis park study

STONE MOUNTAIN -- A local business association now has help in its endeavors to save an Olympic venue from demolition.

The Evermore Community Improvement District -- a quasi-governmental organization of business owners along U.S. Highway 78 -- was awarded a $40,000 grant to study the revitalization of the Park Place area at the Gwinnett-DeKalb line, including the Stone Mountain tennis center.

The grant from the Atlanta Regional Commission, which is supplemental funding for the Livable Centers Initiative, will be used to explore the possibility of building a multi-modal transportation hub.

"We hope the proposed restoration and transformation of the former Olympic Tennis Stadium into a multipurpose facility can be a catalyst for revitalization and development, but it must be done in the context of transit-oriented design that improves connectivity and promotes green development," CID Chairman Forrest Adair said. "We are grateful to ARC because this grant will be used to determine the viability of these concepts as well as identifying the action steps we need to be taking."

The stadium was slated for demolition last year, when Gwinnett commissioners agreed to lease the land, transforming the 15 tennis courts there into a county park. But CID officials have stepped in to try to find other uses for the stadium.

CID Economic Development Director David Stedman said there is a developer interested in a project.

"In this economy, we need to show that we are making an effort to improve the market dynamics of the area in a fundamental way," he said. "When businesses and developers hear about the vision we have for the area, people get excited."

Also among the $800,000 in grants awarded Thursday was $50,000 for an update to the city of Duluth's LCI plan, which was adopted 10 years ago and lead to the creation of the Town Green.