CID board taps group to lead study of tennis stadium

STONE MOUNTAIN -- Business owners are hoping a tie to Stone Mountain Park will give an aging Olympic tennis venue a new life.

After hearing from three firms Wednesday, the Evermore Community Improvement District board tapped Tunnell-Spangler-Walsh & Associates to lead a study on the feasibility of a multi-modal center at the tennis stadium, which had been slated for demolition last year.

Bill Tunnell, who partnered with the venue's original designers at Rosser International, for the project, said using a current park exit to also create an entrance to the park from the tennis center could give the venue the major boost it needs for success.

"We've got to find a game-changer kind of move to make this work," Tunnell said. "It's dependent on looking outside the box."

In recent attempts to market the stadium as a concert venue, he said, the missing piece has been access and parking. But the CID's desire for a multi-modal center creates a new potential to benefit the popular park with a transit connection.

"It can be a win-win for the park and the CID," he said, "We are trying to make this a destination."

If the Atlanta Regional Commission approves the contract, which will be paid for with a Livable Centers Initiative grant, the study could be complete in the next several months.

"To me, they bring fresh eyes and a fresh perspective to what we are looking to accomplish," said board member Gary Custar before the unanimous vote, where chairman Forrest Adair abstained. "It's definitely worth investigating."