Hampton, Georgia is a charming small town located just 25 miles south of Atlanta, home to around 5,000 residents. Despite its size, the town has experienced significant growth in recent years and now has a significant amount of unused land, particularly along State Route 20. To develop a comprehensive vision for this vacant land and the core of the town, TSW was selected in 2010 to lead a Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study for Hampton. Through a series of public meetings and a community workshop, locals were able to shape the vision in order to preserve the small-town, rural feel that they value.
The vision that emerged from the planning process includes a conceptual plan for a new town center centered on a proposed passenger rail stop along the Atlanta-Macon line. This new town center would integrate big-box retail in a pedestrian-friendly format, allow for a significant number of new residences designed to be compatible with a small-town environment and serve as an extension of the existing downtown.
One of Hampton’s most significant assets is the Atlanta Motor Speedway, which brings hundreds of thousands of visitors to within 1.5 miles of Hampton’s downtown each year. To take advantage of this, the plan recommends improvements to attract these visitors, including a small amphitheater on vacant city-owned land and efforts to strengthen existing businesses downtown.
Other recommendations in the plan include improved streetscapes, walking and biking paths, expanded park space, and code amendments to promote compatible growth. Implementation is a key focus of the study, which identifies specific timelines and funding sources for each public improvement, several of which are already being pursued. The LCI study for Hampton is a comprehensive and actionable plan that has the potential to transform the town and promote sustainable development.