Marie Sims Park

Marie Sims Park

This irregularly shaped 16.3-acre property had previously been entitled by a specific plan which called for 3,883 condominiums to be constructed in nine separate towers. The plan treated the urban site as a single block and illustrated uses and a composition that restricted flexibility, responsiveness to the larger urban framework and specific uses which had become infeasible in the marketplace. Thus, AMLI hired HGOR to revise a master plan that would celebrate urban form and create a strong sense of place for the site.

HGOR’s study of the property led to an extension of the urban grid through the property to develop a series of blocks or pods that could be developed collectively or individually. In response to the value of open space, the plan aggregated open space requirements into a central park providing maximum utilization of the blocks, creating a defined amenity and an experience. HGOR’s design creates efficient, walkable urban blocks with required open space aggregated into collective commons. The plan extends existing streets providing clear walkable connections to the nearby MARTA Transit Station. Various open spaces maximize views and direct access while maintaining programmatic densities.

The allocation of the greenspace also focused on a central lower portion of the property, enabling the open space to provide dual purpose for centralized stormwater management. HGOR illustrated savings from utilizing the park for stormwater, as opposed to a traditional underground vault system, would virtually cover the cost of constructing the park and provide enhanced water quality through the utilization of aquatics and bio-retention. The park design utilized a multi-tiered approach to storage - capturing the two-year storm and water quality within the lower wet pond and allowing major storms to spread out over otherwise usable space. Roughhewn orchard stone walls with cast stone caps provide a warmth and foil to a metal catwalk which projects to allow storage below. Streetscapes throughout the development provide gracious walks and biodiversity of trees from street to street and surrounding the park.

The new master plan provides a deeper stewardship of resources returned the property to its’ full pre-recession value and the “private” aggregated open space is known today as City Place/Marie Sims Park, serving the entire community, not just the residents of the development.

LocationAtlanta, Georgia
Year Completed2014
Size2 acres
Design Team Chris Mutter