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Best reuse of a demolished housing project: Wheat Street Gardens

Staff Pick

In 2008, Wheat Street Baptist Church tore down its low-income housing just off Auburn Avenue, closing the book on a once-vibrant complex that had fallen victim to crime and the elements. Then along came Wheat Street Gardens, a 4-acre urban farm that's the brainchild of K. Rashid Nuri. With the help of the Atlanta Falcons, the EPA and Councilman Kwanza Hall, the Harvard-educated Boston native and former Clinton appointee to the U.S. Agriculture Department struck a deal with the church to lease the land. Today, the farm is a greenie's delight. In place of the rubble is row after row of organic crops — okra, tomatoes, zucchini, eggplant, etc. — and a weekly market where neighbors can buy truly local food. It's the kind of project you read about in smart-growth journals but can now find in the shadow of downtown's skyscrapers. Hilliard Street at John Wesley Dobbs Avenue.

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