The biggest change in the landscape of Atlanta that’s been seen in generations just hit. From the Emory University press release:
Emory University filed a petition on Tuesday, June 27, to annex into the City of Atlanta. The university, including its health care facilities on the Druid Hills campus, will remain in DeKalb County, and upon approval of the petition, will also be part of the City of Atlanta.
Emory has built affiliations and community engagements that span DeKalb County and the City of Atlanta. For example, Emory’s operations include several hospitals and clinics in DeKalb County and one in the City of Atlanta––Emory University Hospital Midtown. In addition to Emory’s longstanding civic and community engagement in DeKalb County, the university’s strong partnerships with Georgia Institute of Technology, Georgia State University, the Morehouse School of Medicine and Grady Memorial Hospital, as well as its investment in arts, culture and scholarship in Atlanta, continue to grow.
According to Emory President Claire E. Sterk, annexation into Atlanta will complement the university’s commitment to local, and thereby global, engagement, while continuing to contribute to both jurisdictions.
“We are enriched by our relationships with the county and the city as well as the larger region and the state and look forward to building upon our commitment to community involvement, academic excellence, innovation and entrepreneurship,” says Sterk.
Next steps in the process include the city’s regular public meeting process for annexations. It is expected that the annexation will be effective in the fall of this year.
Why is this important, you ask? The answer is MARTA rail. Allow us to reprint this Insider post from last September:
Forget Hillary Clinton. Never mind Donald Trump. If you live in metro Atlanta, the award for the boldest political move of this electoral season doesn’t belong to either.
That trophy goes to Emory University.
Several weeks ago, the prestigious, private research institution announced that it would unilaterally seek shelter from the racially fraught turmoil of DeKalb County governance by becoming part of the city of Atlanta.
Absorption of the 630-acre campus, in whole or part, would amount to the most important alteration to the city of Atlanta’s footprint in generations, and could very well change how you get to work in years to come.
In a good way.
That judgment requires some educated guesswork, because the only public reason that Emory has offered up for its decision to become part of Atlanta-in-DeKalb is the preservation of university stationery.
“Emory already promotes its location as Atlanta, is known internationally as being located in Atlanta, routinely recruits faculty and students to Atlanta, and has an Atlanta address and zip code,” read the official statement issued last month.
To be sure, Emory lobbyists at the state Capitol worked overtime to make sure that the university didn’t get wrapped into a new city of LaVista Hills, an effort that narrowly lost by referendum last year.
But city fever has probably crested in DeKalb County. Which means that market branding isn’t driving this Emory bus. In fact, this isn’t about a bus at all. More than likely, this is about rail.
On Nov. 8, Atlanta voters will be asked to approve an additional half-penny sales tax for largest expansion of MARTA rail service in nearly four decades. The tax is expected to raise $2.5 billion over 40 years.