Development Updates

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 Economic Development Update

Restaurant Growth - Restaurants are the economic driver for our commercial districts. They create destination traffic that has benefited our retail businesses and sparked a growth in our retail/service sector.

1996: 38 restaurants
2001: 65 restaurants
2005: 79 restaurants
2006: 86 restaurants
2008: 82 restaurants
2009: 82 restaurants 

Retail Growth - Emphasis on locally owned, one of a kind businesses. Since 1999, we have added 50,000 square feet of new retail space in downtown Decatur. All new construction in our downtown district, whether it's a parking deck, condominium or an office building must have retail space on the ground floor. One commercial development and two mixed use projects that have been approved for construction will add an additional 25,000 sf of much-needed retail space in the Ponce de Leon Avenue corridor

1996: 54 retail businesses
2001: 93 retail businesses
2005: 90 retail businesses
2006: 100 retail businesses
2008: 103 retail businesses
2009: 99 retail businesses

Retail Space 2000: 220,000 sf
Retail Space 2008: 352,000 sf 

Downtown Residential - A major component of our downtown development strategy
has been the construction of residential projects in the central business district. Total numbers include public housing units adjacent to downtown district:

1996: 1050 downtown housing units
2006: 1628 downtown housing units

Since 2000, the following units have been added in the central business district:

13 unit - Maple Street Townhouses
15 unit - Commerce Drive Townhouses
37 unit - Knob Hill on Church
23 unit - Candler Grove

20 unit - Historic Decatur Condominium Conversion
105 unit/13,000 sf retail - Town Square Condominium
170 unit/10,000 sf retail - Decatur Renaissance
68 unit - The Clairemont
70 unit - 335 Ponce de Leon
75 unit/12,000 sf retail - Artisan Phase I
56 unit - Artisan Phase II
90 units - Talley Street Lofts
4 units (approved) - 527 N. McDonough
52 units (approved) - 432 E. Howard Ave.

101 unit - Ice House Project
210 units/25,000 sf retail (approved) - 233 E. Trinity Pl.
160 units (approved) - 315 W. Ponce de Leon Ave. 

Building Permits - Decatur continues to enjoy unprecedented development. Agnes Scott College is completing a $75 million development program. In addition to construction downtown, homeowners are expanding and renovating in record numbers.

1995: 349 Building Permits issued. Total construction value - $19 million.
2000: 688 Building Permits issued. Total construction value - $41 million.
2001: 433 Building Permits issued. Total construction value - $51 million
2005: 728 Building Permits issued. Total construction value - $92.5 million
2006: 753 Building Permits issued. Total construction value - $56.5 million
2007: 822 Building Permits issued Total construction value $100 million
2008: 1290 Building Permits issued Total construction value $83 million
2009: 1292 Building Permits issued Total construction value $38 million 

Traffic - In spite of increased development, traffic counts in Decatur have remained relatively unchanged. We have worked to discourage through traffic and encourage the use of MARTA, bicycling and walking as alternatives to driving.

 Year  PDL*  WPDL EPDL    Scott Clairemont  
 1992  33,449  10,921  17,810  32,432  22,561
 1999  42,471  11,415  13,013  33,664  17,814
 2004  32,100  10,960  11,870  30,300  18,940
2007   10,800   30,160   18,080

 *PDL=Ponce de Leon (measurement taken at East Lake Drive), WPDL=West Ponce de Leon and EPDL=East Ponce de Leon

Parking - Yes we do have enough parking! We have over 500 metered parking spaces and 2,200 spaces in surface parking lots and parking decks. Look for new directional signs throughout the downtown area that indicate parking. The Artisan Project includes 113 public parking spaces to provide additional retail/restaurant parking for the downtown district.

Public Sector Improvements - The City has grants in place to fund the following projects: complete streetscape improvements along Trinity Avenue from City Hall to the Railroad tracks; construct streetscape improvements in the Oakhurst business district; construct bicycle lanes along W. Ponce de Leon from the city limits to W. Trinity and along W. Trinity to N. McDonough; intersection improvements at College Avenue and S. Candler and College Avenue and S. McDonough. The streetscape projects and bicycle lanes are waiting on Georgia Department of Transportation approval of final plans. The intersection improvements are currently being designed. The City just received a grant to fund streetscape improvements along N. McDonough from the railroad tracks to City Hall.

Source: Decatur Downtown Development Authority, February 2010