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Be Aware. Be Active. Be Involved or be a victim to change. Choose Now.

All around SW Atlanta the winds of change are blowing. This is the time to get involved in what happens to your community or you risk getting blown away.

So here we sit on the cusp of change SW Atlanta. This is the opportunity, this is the chance; this is the moment you have been waiting for. How long have you wondered why there is no real investment in your community? How long have you complained about being cast aside and neglected as the rest of the city moved onward and upward? How long, SW Atlanta, Historic West End, Vine City, AUC and all points around, how long have you waited for someone to say "What do you need? What do you want?" Well my friends, those exact questions are being asked RIGHT NOW and if you don't come up with some answers, someone else will answer them for you.

Did you know, at this very moment, there is a major retailer willing to invest in your community to bring about real and lasting change? Did you know that a major sports team is asking "WHAT DO YOU WANT? WHAT DO YOU NEED? WE WILL WRITE A CHECK FOR IT. JUST TELL US! PLEASE!” Literally begging for someone to say something... anything. 

You know, I've written about this before, but maybe I wasn't clear. Maybe it was me who muddled the point. Maybe it was my fault. I should have typed in ALL CAPS! Or maybe you have failed to see the investment the city is making in your community. I understand. You've lived here all your lives; certainly longer than I have, so it is hard to recognize what is happening all around you. But I didn't grow up here. I just moved into the neighborhood when for so many years so many people were moving out. But I'm not the first, nor the last to move in. Others will follow because of what you have here. But in case you forgot, let me remind you:

  • Easy access to every major highway in the metro; I-20, I-75/85, I-285 are all 5 minutes away or less.
  • The airport and the new North American headquarters for Porsche, being built at the old Ford plant, are 12 minutes away.
  • The Dome, Phillips Arena and Turner Field are less than 7 minutes away. 
  • Downtown, Midtown and Buckhead are your neighbors, but they are 4x to 5x more expensive.
  • The BeltLine Project is building in your area; a $2 billion project by the City of Atlanta to improve life and connectivity in the city. (That's $2 Billion with a "B")
  • Houses are selling for less than one-half their value; most of the time for one-third their worth.
  • Commercial and economic growth are providing opportunities for new businesses and there is money available for new small businesses 

SW Atlanta is the most attractive area in Atlanta for all the above reasons and more. I didn't mention the new stadium coming or the greatest come back in all of college history; The New Morris Brown and the impact it will have on Vine City. So while you might not notice the change, single people, couples and families just starting out are looking around and finding houses that cost less than rent and they are looking at the coming BeltLine, the commercial investment, the infrastructure repairs by the city and they are doing the math. 

This is how it starts: A new neighbor moves in and does $10,000 worth of repairs to their home. It is now worth $125,000 when they paid $22,000 for it. Their property value goes up, along with your property taxes. If you have a fixed income, you can't afford the added taxes, so you sell your home for $80,000 and move. Your life long neighbor sells their home for $90,000 and soon all the folks you knew as a kid are all gone. Your old street has new residents and they have different needs and tastes than you did. They need a Starbucks, so someone opens one. They need fancy restaurants, so someone opens a few. They need security, so APD steps up patrols. They need the street paved, the street lights replaced, wider sidewalks, jogging trails and for people to not smoke or play loud music around their kids while they are at the park. So the city makes all of that happen. They need better schools, so Kipp expands to make room for all the new children. In 5 years you don't even recognize the place.

You don't believe it will happen? I'm proof that is already is happening. I moved into the neighborhood less than a year ago and I'm writing blogs about it in YOUR Patch, I joined YOUR NPU, I volunteer for the BeltLine coming to YOUR area, I'm a Fulton County CourtWatch member in YOUR courts and a graduate of the Atlanta Police Department's Citizens Police Academy from YOUR neighborhood; all in less than 1 year. I got involved because that is how I will monitor and create change that works FOR ME. Don't let other people create change without you having a say. Yet so many of you are letting change happen TO YOU instead of you raising your hand, raising your voice and raising your awareness. 

So here we sit SW Atlanta, on the cusp of change. Every community to your North has changed over the last 5 years. Fort McPherson, to your South, had an open house to show what their plans are. A new stadium is going to be built to the East. Do you really believe your community is somehow going to stay the same when so many things around you are changing? Be aware. Be involved. Be active and be a part of the change or be a victim of it. Choose Now because the window of opportunity is closing quickly. 

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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