Free parking going away soon in popular Atlanta neighborhood

ATLANTA — The last of the free parking in Atlanta’s Little Five Points neighborhood is coming to an end.

A permit was approved this week that will turn the parking lot into a paid lot. Many business owners are concerned it will drive customers away.

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Southern Star Tattoo has been a fixture of Little Five Points for more than a decade.

“It’s just a bummer,” Southern Star Tattoo owner Eric Thrice told Channel 2′s Candace McCowan. “None of the businesses here are big corporations making tons of money. Every business in this Little Five Points neighborhood is a small business.”

He is one of several business owners upset by a change coming to the parking lot right behind their businesses off of Seminole Avenue.

Atlanta City Council approved a special use permit that will take the parking lot that is now free parking and convert it into a paid lot.

“It’s getting harder and harder to park every day,” Kelly Stocks with Little Five Points Business Association said.

The land has eight separate owners. The majority of them were behind the effort to convert the lot to paid parking.

One owner told McCowan that making it paid parking will make for a better-managed lot that will no longer be neglected.


Property owners will be able to get free parking passes for their employees. But some are worried about the impact on customers.

“Right now paid parking is already hurting us. Like, there’s neighborhoods really close that have no paid parking, they don’t even have city parking meters so we have to compete with them,” Kristen Goldberg said. “It definitely deters people.”

Landowners told McCowan that when it comes to pricing, that is still being determined.

But pricing will likely be similar to other lots in the area.

“We have a whole vibe in Little Five Points. It’s like, for the people. We’ve been a really tight neighborhood for so long,” Goldberg said.

“Someone wants to make money off the people here just trying to make money,” Thrice said.

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