ULI Atlanta Technical Assistance Panel: Sweet Auburn Retail District Strategy (2016)

The Urban Land Institute (ULI) Technical Assistance Panels (TAPs) provide expert, multidisciplinary advice by leveraging their seasoned professional membership base. ULI Atlanta offers objective and responsible guidance on a variety of land use and real estate issues ranging from site-specific projects to public policy questions.

In December 2015, the panelists – an experienced group of real estate development industry professionals – took a walking tour of the neighborhood, interviewed groups of neighborhood stakeholders, heard from urban storefront retail experts and formulated recommendations to support a retail strategy for the community. The panel was asked by Sweet Auburn Works to offer their insights and provide advice and recommendations regarding retail market dynamics and opportunities in the Sweet Auburn District.
TAP Recommendations:
  • Visioning and Brand Championing
  • Wayfinding and Signage
  • Court key Retail Tenants
  • Inventory of Commercial Real Estate
  • Partner with the City on Neighborhood Policing and Blight Taskforce
  • Master Advisor
  • Public Infrastructure and Funding Plan

Main Street Assessment Report

The Main Street Assessment Report is a summary of the observations and recommendations of a National Trust for Historic Preservation Assessment Team that visited Sweet Auburn on November 2012.
The visit and follow-up report of the assessment team’s findings and recommendations are provided to the Sweet Auburn community by the National Trust for Historic Preservation as part of its commitment to assist in the preservation and revitalization of one of the most significant historically African-American commercial areas in the South. In 2012, the National Trust named the Sweet Auburn Historic District a National Treasure and listed Sweet Auburn’s commercial area as one of America’s 11 Most Endangered Historic Places®. The primary goal for the Sweet Auburn National Treasure campaign is to craft and implement a plan that will result in the revitalization of the neighborhood’s commercial district.
The observations and recommendations in the report provide a road map for developing a Sweet Auburn commercial revitalization program based on a proven and effective process for commercial revitalization -- the comprehensive Main Street Four Point Approach®. The Main Street® methodology, if utilized correctly, will create a vibrant commercial community while preserving the historic, cultural and architectural integrity of the Sweet Auburn neighborhood. This report also identifies the issues affecting redevelopment of the neighborhood’s commercial areas and provides recommendations that a Sweet Auburn Main Street organization, once it is established, can follow to strategically plan and implement the revitalization process.

Butler-Auburn Redevelopment Plan Update

The Butler-Auburn Redevelopment Plan Update (2004-2005) represents an overall continuation and refinement of the issues and strategies contained in the 1994 Community Redevelopment Plan. The 2005 update focused on three interwoven themes – re-conceiving catalytic projects, drafting zoning adjustments, and creating an overarching marketing or branding strategy.
Key Recommendations included promoting the “theme” of the district through marketing/branding; encouraging mixed-use redevelopment (more heavily commercial to the west of the interstate and transitioning into lower-density residential to the east of the interstate); historic preservation; preserving parks/open space; and creating a cultural arts facility as an anchor project.

Sweet Auburn Works.  Preserving the Legacy
522 Auburn Avenue, Atlanta GA 30312    Main: 470-240-4909    info@sweetauburnworks.com