Grove Park | Atlanta, Georgia
Neighborhood leaders are working to ensure Grove Park’s Black legacy residents will benefit fully from a new wave of development.
For many years, the Grove Park neighborhood remained a thriving center for Black families and businesses on Atlanta’s west side.
But decades of disinvestment took a toll on the community and its residents. The neighborhood’s population declined and the economic infrastructure collapsed, bringing school closures and a loss of commerce. Even today, in 2021, Grove Park has no pharmacy, no supermarket and lacks other basic amenities.
At the same time, the community faces intensifying development pressures. Westside Park, Atlanta’s largest and newest green space, borders Grove Park. And the neighborhood will be home to a forthcoming tech campus that will house 10,000-15,000 jobs.
With this development comes the threat of displacement. Low wages, unemployment and rising rents put housing prices out of reach for legacy residents. And efforts to create permanently affordable homeownership face complex investment barriers.
Grove Park Foundation launched as a member of the Purpose Built Communities network in 2017 with a mission to revitalize and make Grove Park a healthy, equitable and vibrant community. It believes the neighborhood can turn the current development tide by creating jobs, growing small businesses and putting homeownership in reach for longtime residents.
Making that happen will require continued community engagement, good planning and targeted resources.
Grove Park Foundation works with neighborhood residents and organizations to deliver both capital investments and community services. Its place-based, partner-driven approach builds pathways to Black homeownership, business development and economic prosperity.
Support from Fifth Third and Enterprise will expand and accelerate the following initiatives:
- The Accelerating Opportunities Partnership seeks to prevent displacement by expanding equitable revitalization and access to opportunity for residents.
- The Financial Capability Partnership aims to help 1,500 residents become financially literate, qualify as homeowners and renters and increase their household incomes through training for livable-wage jobs and business development.
- Affordable housing initiatives will bring significantly more affordable homes online.
- The revitalization of the historic Grove Theater and a pivotal main street corner will create an accessible marketplace for small businesses.
- A planned incubator site will grow new and existing Black businesses and support residents who want to develop their commercial property.
“We serve some of the best, most resilient people in the city of Atlanta. And it is a privilege to be able to bring resources to the table that can help create pathways of success. This partnership with Fifth Third and Enterprise helps us create that reality for families. Because we don't matter unless they matter.”
– S. Tarnace Watkins Sr., Director of Economic Development, Grove Park Foundation
What Success Looks Like
The impact of new resources and technical support promises immediate and long-term gains for Grove Park and its legacy residents.
Over the next three to five years, the Grove Park Foundation aims to:
- Create 200 homeownership units
- Launch an independent community land trust for long-term affordability
- Increase the number of small businesses supported from 10 to 30
Within the next decade, the Grove Park Foundation will work toward:
- Developing and partnering on the production of 950 long-term and permanently affordable homes, with the majority occupied by current Grove Park residents
- A well-established, community-led community land trust
- Reviving a commercial district rebuilt with locally owned Black businesses established through accessible rents, grant and loan support, mentorship and advocacy
- Measurable income gains among Black families who have remained in or returned to the community
Looking to the next 25 years, community leaders envision Grove Park as a thriving, mixed-income neighborhood and a citywide regional hub for parks, trails and businesses – all rooted in a strong legacy of Black leadership, all pointed toward a thriving future.