Known for it’s rich history, Old Fourth Ward (O4W) is the neighborhood in which Martin Luther King Jr. was born and raised. On Auburn Ave, you can still visit the Martin Luther King Jr National Historic Site and see Mr. King’s birth home and even the Ebenezer Baptist Church where he was a pastor throughout his adult life.

Unfortunately, in thOld Fourth Ward-Atlanta March 2009 GA (8)e mid-1900s, O4W began to decline. However, beginning slowly in the ’80s and picking up momentum by 2000, the neighborhood began to gentrify. Spurred on by new real estate developments that took advantage of the neighborhood’s excellent location and highly sought after surrounding neighborhoods (e.g., Inman Park, Poncey Highlands, and Midtown), new construction quickly began on apartments, condos and townhomes that featured retail and coffee shops and markets on the ground level.

Further, the development of the Atlanta Beltline (which began as a Georgia Tech student’s graduate thesis!) was one of the most significant turning point’s for the O4W. Still underway, the Atlanta Beltline is the most comprehensive and extensive revitalization effort that city has ever undergone. By redeveloping old railway corridors in the city, multi-use trails and parks have been constructed in its place and will eventually connect 45 neighborhoods directly to one another. Set to be completed over the next several years, the Beltline will provide 22 miles of pedestrian friendly rail transit, 33 miles of multi-use trails, over 1000 acres of public parks, and numerous art projects that exemplify the area’s history.Old Fourth Ward Atlanta GA Map

The development of the Beltline has rapidly fueled nearby real estate development. The Eastside Beltline trail, which runs through O4W, attracts thousands of visitors every day and has propelled significant gentrification of the surrounding area which rushes to catch up. For example, the Ponce City Market which once was a bleak yet large edifice, was bought out by Jamestown Properties in 2011, and is set to restore over a million square feet into retail stores, restaurants, office space, a preparatory school, and residential units. The Market will also connect to the Beltline for easy access.

Moreover, in 2011, the Historic Old Fourth Ward Skate Park opened up alongside the Beltline, and was kicked off by the renowned Tony Hawk! Adjoining the skatepark is a playground and large athletic field for all kinds of games and activities. The park and the adjacent Beltline are always bustling with families, pets, and active individuals all enjoying what this wonderful new development has to offer in the O4W.

It’s incredibly exciting to see the quick progress and new developments taking place in the Old Fourth Ward. Come out and be apart of it!