ARC’s Livable Centers Initiative Awards $796,000 to 10 Communities

ARC Press Release

For More Information Contact:

Jim Jaquish


Cell: (404) 323-5634

(ATLANTA- February 10, 2012) Through its Livable Centers Initiative (LCI), the Atlanta Regional Commission (ARC) has awarded an additional 10 local communities a total of $796,000 in planning grants. LCI grants are intended to assist local governments and communities create new quality growth plans that can seed new ideas for livability or help implement such community-developed visions.

The new LCI grant recipients are the City of Atlanta, DeKalb County and the City of Marietta, receiving $120,000, $100,000 and $80,000 respectively. Five other communities received funding for various supplemental studies, to help advance their current LCI studies. In addition, grants for two PLAN 2040 Innovation studies will be awarded to the City of Atlanta and the Stone Mountain CID at $80,000 each.

Entering its 13th year, the Livable Centers Initiative has awarded 127 communities with more than $153 million in planning and implementation grants to create more livable communities. These grants have helped fund projects that have revitalized the region’s activity centers and historical town centers through improved pedestrian, road and transit options.

“LCI has helped communities across metro Atlanta re-tool and redesign over the years, creating more places that attract residents and businesses alike,” said Tad Leithead, ARC Chairman. “Our local government partners have used these grants to the benefit of their communities and the entire region.”

The LCI program was created to allocate federal transportation dollars for planning in local communities. Once the plans have been created, local governments can apply for federal funding to assist in bringing their plans into reality.

Since the first LCI grants were awarded in 2000, more than 84,000 residential units, 20 million square feet of commercial space and 35 million square feet of office space are either planned, under construction or complete in the grantee areas. Regionwide, 67 percent of all office space built since 2000 has been built within LCI areas. And, LCI areas have attracted 8.5 percent of all new residential units and 21 percent of all new commercial development built in the region.

“Communities are eager to revitalize their town centers and underutilized properties to create places that foster a neighborhood feel and environment,” said Doug Hooker, ARC Executive Director. “LCI grants have helped communities re-imagine what they can be and then helped them make those plans a reality.”

The 2012 LCI recipients are:

Lakewood Activity Center
Award amount: $120,000
City of Atlanta
Garnett Brown 
404.330.6145 /

This study will create strategies for growth and development at and around the Lakewood Fairgrounds.  The Fairgrounds are an emerging regional center, and by cultivating growth there, the city will gain a new attraction. The plan will focus on leveraging Aaron’s Lakewood Amphitheater and increasing the attraction of new movie and television production jobs.  The study will also work to provide opportunities for supportive mixed-use/mixed-income development.

Stonecrest Activity Center
Award Amount: $100,000
Sponsor: DeKalb County
Cedric Hudson
404.371.2155 /

This study will focus on creating strategies to improve the long-term economic viability of the Stonecrest region. The plan will encourage pedestrian-oriented communities where people can live, work and play. Such an activity center would help improve the economic vitality of not only Stonecrest, but DeKalb County and the surrounding area.

Marietta University District
Award Amount: $80,000
City of Marietta
Kyetha Clark
770.794.5668 /

This study will focus on the usage of land along Cobb Parkway, more specifically those areas surrounding Southern Polytechnic State University and Life University.  The plan will include improving the visibility of the universities by recommending transportation projects and development that will better tie the universities to the community, creating a campus atmosphere.

PLAN 2040 LCI Innovation Studies

With the adoption of PLAN 2040 in 2011, ARC added a third category of LCI grants. Called PLAN 2040 LCI Innovation studies, these grants support jurisdiction-wide policies, plans or programs that focus on livable communities, consistent with the goals of PLAN 2040 and LCI. The first two PLAN 2040 LCI Innovation grant recipients are:

Cycle Atlanta Phase 1
Award Amount: $80,000
City of Atlanta
James Shelby
404.330.6070 /

The purpose of this study is to support compact development in the central core of the city by connecting residential areas to job centers with additional bicycle facilities. The city will study ways to connect residential areas to job centers via bicycle-friendly facilities, while maintaining the historic and cultural fabric of the communities.

Stone Mountain CID Vision and Strategies
Award Amount: $80,000
Stone Mountain CID
Emory Morsberger
770.409.8100 /

This study is intended to assist the community improvement district (CID) in developing policies to accommodate emerging industry sectors and to redevelop a strong industrial and freight presence in the area.  The CID will study transportation improvements and development strategies to attract a stronger freight and logistics presence as well as emerging industries.

Supplemental Studies

Perimeter CIDs: Lifelong Community Feasibility Study: $64,000

City of Union City: Transit-Oriented Development Plan at Union Station : $80,000

Gwinnett Village CID : Indian Trail Pedestrian and Bike Connectivity Study : $48,000

City of Woodstock : 10-Year LCI Update : $80,000

City of Stone Mountain : 10-Year LCI Update : $64,000

For more on ARC’s LCI program and a list of past recipients, visit

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