Proposal to convert Atlanta Federal Prison to Town Center

Status: Archived  

Proposal only.  There are not yet any plans to sell the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary.

Please join the citizens of southeast Atlanta in requesting that the federal government sell the historic federal prison on Boulevard to create a town center and village commons using development guidelines established by our local communities.  The location could be served by the McDonough/Macon Line and could include an extension of the Georgia State campus connected via a downtown rail hub.

Funds from the sale of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary could go toward a new federal prison in Georgia and/or a green vocational prison in Atlanta - near recycling centers on Moreland where the focus would be on environmental projects and clean-energy programs.

One option would be for the state to do a land trade with the federal government. The federal government could receive land several times larger for a new prison to create a job base in a rural area of Georgia, and the state would receive the land and building on Boulevard for resale to developers following New Urban design guidelines. Infrastructure funds could be spent preparing roads and utilities for both sides of the transfer.

Prison-to-Town Center Transformation

The historic prison on Boulevard  is a beautiful structure in an excellent location to create a traditional neighborhood town center - surrounded with homes, townhouses, shops and schools. Our communities would also benefit from a charter high school near the new town center and the upcoming Boulevard Crossing Park.  The momentum is strong since we have excellent charter elementary schools and a new charter middle school. The effort would have immense parent involvement from the start. Our area also has an active historic preservation community and excellent examples of successful New Urban design in GlenwoodPark.com.

Using the former prison to create a new town center on the crest of Boulevard will unite divided neighborhoods, increase property value for school funding, and reduce crime by creating jobs and healthier communities.

Once guidelines are developed with the surrounding neighborhoods, this beautiful historic prison could be re-developed and sold as condos, stores and recreation facilities surrounding a walkable village. The interior of the prison could be opened up into an airy space with terraced lofts, a YMCA and event center.

Benefits to Local Communities

As unemployment has increases, so has crime - especially by people under the age of 25.  Construction is the fastest way to create jobs for young people who are new to the workforce - with apprentice programs to engage youth throughout the construction of both developments.  The new prison (located a couple miles from the new town center) could incorporate a natural setting with gated communities for low risk prisoners, while tapping the artistic talents of our communities to reform rather than harden criminals.  A new vocational prison facility could be located near the Metro Regional Youth Detention Center.  This location is in proximity to land preservation areas like Constitution Lake, industrial job sites and the Live Oak Landfill & Recycling Center.   View Map.

By pooling investments to purchase the federal prison, we'll potentially provide additional funds for the government to build prisons in other locations with a focus on vocational programs, recycling, building trades and agriculture/forestry.

This prison-to-towncenter proposal has the following economic benefits:

1. Job creation in areas hit hardest by recession

2. Roads and Infrastructure development

3. Utility and broadband improvements

4. Vocational programs for prisoners focused on green-energy

5. Increase to surrounding property tax base

6.School development

7. Possible integration with high speed rail using active rail line south of prison

Contribute Your Input

Postcard of the Atlanta Federal Penitentiary on Boulevard