We’re committed to leaving an attainable, connected, and green legacy for Decatur.
Our driving motivation is enhancing quality of life for the Decatur community, both today and in the future. How we invest our time and resources reflects that. Here’s what we’re up to.
Legacy Park is where attainable housing, community, and the environment converge.
In 2018 the Decatur community came together to chart a future for the 77 acre, former United Methodist Children’s Home property, now known as Legacy Park. The result was an ambitious vision incorporating affordable housing, the arts, community gathering spaces, recreation, natural conservation, and more.
Mirroring the City of Atlanta’s relationship with the Piedmont Park Conservancy, Decatur’s City Commission has since unanimously approved an agreement with Legacy Decatur to manage ongoing operations at the park. This includes implementation of the property’s long-term master plan, with substantive proposals or projects continuing to require Commission approval on a case-by-case basis.
Decatur’s a community two centuries in the making. That’s something to celebrate.
Having an organizational infrastructure in place to pursue grants, coordinate community giving, and organize volunteers in service of a year-long calendar of activities to celebrate Decatur’s bicentennial in 2023 was the impetus for Legacy Decatur’s founding in 2015 and continues to be an active pursuit as we move closer to the big year.
A tribute befitting a giant of a man.
When Congressman John Lewis died, an effort to create a tribute to his life and legacy began. Dekalb County and the City of Decatur engaged a diverse task force of DeKalb County citizens, community leaders, arts leaders, and elected officials to establish project goals, solicit design submissions, and select a sculptor. The sculpture will be placed at the historic Dekalb County Courthouse, itself a part of the story of civil rights in America, located in the district Congressman Lewis served for 17 consecutive terms.
Legacy Decatur is providing the fiscal management for community donations being raised to fund the installation, which replaces a Confederate monument that was previously removed. To date, this community-driven effort has raised over $550,000. The anticipated date of the installation and its unveiling is Spring of 2023.
A Decatur home for art and the artists who create it.
Working in partnership with the Decatur Arts Alliance (DAA), Legacy Decatur is repurposing four of Legacy Park’s existing residential dorms to form a Creative Village of affordable housing and studio space for local artists earning 40% – 80% of the area median income.
DAA is responsible for selecting the artists and organizing art programming. We’ve completed the fundraising to cover the necessary renovations and cosmetic improvements and are now ensuring that the buildings are updated to meet present codes. An independent property management vendor is being sourced to manage leasing and maintenance.
Affordable rental and home ownership opportunities where they’re sorely needed.
Legacy Decatur is working closely with the City of Decatur and the Decatur Land Trust to develop a small cottage court behind two former group homes at Decatur Legacy Park. The cottages will be sold through the Land Trust to qualified buyers with a goal of targeting first-time buyers of various ages, incomes, ethnicities, developmental and physical abilities.
The two adjacent group homes will be a part of the project and will be upgraded to provide small apartments or co-housing rental options with the same diversity goals as noted above.
A public/private partnership to sustain local business during COVID-19.
In communities across America, the emergence of COVID-19 has taken a particularly challenging toll on small business. Decatur has been no exception. In response, the Decatur City Commission, in partnership with its Development Authorities, established a small business no interest loan program with initial funding of $500,000.
Legacy Decatur complemented and extended this funding with the Decatur United Small Business Recovery Fund, providing a mechanism by which residents and other interested parties could make tax-deductible donations towards the effort. As of the awarding of the initial round of loans, these community contributions totaled nearly $60,000.
500 S. Columbia Drive
Decatur, Georgia 30030