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Vine City is the model for how SW Atlanta will change

When work begins on the new Historic Mims Park, it will mark the end of the Vine city and English Avenue communities as you now know them to be. But no good deed goes unpunished.

Vine City will be home to the new Historic Mims Park. I know this is old news. I know many people think the park will create jobs and opportunities for the few residents who still call Vine City home. But ask yourself, what jobs are going to be created by a park? Do you think a Starbucks will open next to the park? Maybe a cool little restaurant with outdoor seating? Not anytime soon!

So what will it take to CHANGE Vine City and English Avenue? Honestly, it will require hugely inflated property values to change both communities. When the current residents can no longer afford to live in the Vine City and English Avenue communities because of higher property values and higher taxes, they will move out. When they move, the only people able to afford the property will be developers who will invest millions in the area, leveling everything and starting over from scratch. 

How do you inflate property values? Well, a $55m park is a great start and will increase property values around it. A few developers will create some new apartments around the park with security to keep out the unwanted and that will raise the property value even more. Then come a few bigger developers and they will buy more and more, building more and more and increasing the property value more and more. Soon, the area will look nothing like it looks today. THAT will be the real change. But who benefits from it?

With all of the current residents of Vine City and English Avenue priced out of the market, the real winners are: 1) Developers and 2) The City of Atlanta. Developers need only wait until the deal is sealed with the city to build the park. Once the agreement is legally binding, the gloves are off when it comes to purchasing large tracts of land. Developers will buy cheap and sell for a huge profit. Meanwhile, the city, after some time, will begin to rake in huge sums in property taxes from all the new developments.

You might read this and think I am against the park and against the city and developers, but I'm not. I am writing this to explain the process of moving people out of an area. This is how it is done. From Vine City, to English Avenue, to all the communities west, this process will happen over and over again. It won't always be a park that gets it started, but once the ball starts rolling, you will not be able to stop it. 

For the residents who cheered for the park, it was like watching passengers on the Titanic asking the captain to speed faster toward the iceberg with visions of getting fresh ice cubes from nature. You will get the park, but you won't be living anywhere near it by the time it is completed. But at least you won. Enjoy your icey beverages!

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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