When the General Motors Assembly plant closed its doors in 2008, Doraville lost its largest employer. But we gained a unique opportunity to remake our city, given that we now had such a large piece of property so ideally located. Citizens and government seized on this opportunity and created the Design Doraville Comprehensive Plan, which had open input from hundreds of citizens (myself included) and achieved broad consensus among nearly all the participants. This means my vision for the city isn’t just mine – it is shared by nearly all the residents who showed up to participate, and everyone was welcome. The city staff are already working hard on its implementation, and although the recession kept us from moving forward as soon as we would have liked, we finally found a developer for the GM property who is on board with the plan.
I’m a strong supporter of the Comprehensive Plan and Assembly Yards, the new mixed use development now taking shape on the old GM plant. This project is a private development, but will include a good deal of public space and enable the development of some much needed public infrastructure connecting Assembly with the downtown area, the MARTA station and surrounding areas. To facilitate this, the city has offered a number of tax incentives to the developer of Assembly and Nexus (a second mixed use development on the site of the old K-Mart lot). Although I don’t always approve of such incentives, I think in this case they are fiscally sensible as well as enabling the comprehensive plan to go forward.
As a member of the council I will strive to attract businesses to the city who are forward thinking and fit in with the comprehensive plan, bringing good jobs to the city and strengthening our economy and tax base – which in turn will fund more of the infrastructure we want. I will also work to bring more people into the city to live and play as well as work, through thoughtful planning of new housing development (see the Building Bridges section). Doraville would benefit greatly from more residential areas which create more incentive for “people friendly” businesses and public spaces, arts and music, multicultural events, etc.