New to the Neighborhood – and Loving It

Posted September 16, 2015
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
Newtothe Neighborhood blog

Meet Meghan Thomas. She’s moth­er to 8‑year-old Khalil and a rook­ie real estate agent. She’s also the first per­son to buy a new­ly ren­o­vat­ed home in Atlanta’s Pitts­burgh neigh­bor­hood — one of more than 50 res­i­dences being rehabbed as part of a mul­ti­year rede­vel­op­ment project.

Thomas, age 28, moved into the house in ear­ly August. She and Khalil have filled their first few weeks at home pick­ing out paint col­ors, plant­i­ng a flower gar­den and enjoy­ing the 14-acre Pittman Park just across the street. 

Thomas recent­ly spoke about her big move and what it means to her fam­i­ly. Here’s what she had to say: 

Oppor­tu­ni­ty is knocking. 
Pitts­burgh has lots of oppor­tu­ni­ties and areas for devel­op­ment. I saw this as a great oppor­tu­ni­ty to get a good prop­er­ty and real­ly be involved in the devel­op­ment of the community.

A top-notch transformation. 
This house is real­ly a bless­ing. It is more than I expect­ed. They put in a fence. I didn’t ask for that. They had a top-of-the-line secu­ri­ty sys­tem installed. They thought of every­thing. They did a full ren­o­va­tion and didn’t cut any corners.

Loca­tion, loca­tion, location.
I thought my pre­vi­ous place on the north side was con­ve­nient. This is the best. I can go any­where I want to in less than five or 10 min­utes. It’s con­ve­nience with­out the over­pow­er­ing, over­whelm­ing I‑am-in-a-city feel. For my son, there is a park lit­er­al­ly across the street. It is real­ly spe­cial for him. Before, we would have to dri­ve to the park. Now, he has this huge 14-acre park right in his front yard. 

Pitts­burgh: The new Pleasantville.
Peo­ple have this per­cep­tion that the neigh­bor­hood is blight­ed. Unin­hab­it­ed. But when we moved in, every­one knew. The word spread. It was great. It’s like Pleas­antville. Every­body is so kind. There has been a big cel­e­bra­tion at least two of the week­ends we’ve been here. We’ve all been out at the park, eat­ing, fel­low­ship­ping and get­ting to know one another. 

A com­mu­ni­ty that cares.
Most peo­ple that live here, they have lived here all their lives. They are excit­ed about the local devel­op­ment projects going on, but they are also seri­ous about mak­ing sure that the projects go in the right direc­tion and hon­or the neighborhood’s rich his­to­ry. There is prob­a­bly a com­mu­ni­ty meet­ing almost every sin­gle week or at least three weeks out of the month.

The bal­cony wins.
My favorite part of the house is a Charleston-style bal­cony off the mas­ter bed­room. Our house was built less than 10 years ago. Oth­er homes in the area have that his­toric look and feel, and they kept the his­toric feel of the area. I absolute­ly love it. You can just open your door, look out and relax.

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