Paint Love, tenant of Legacy Park, expands and moves into Hyatt Cottage – Decaturish

Decatur, Georgia — Paint Love, a non-profit organization that provides arts programs for youth facing poverty and trauma, will move into Hyatt Cottage in Legacy Park.

The Legacy Decatur Board of Directors, the board that oversees Legacy Park, has approved a lease agreement with the organization to use the chalet for larger office space at an initial rate of $10 per square foot and an increase 3% annually.

“Our tenant Paint Love, which is located upstairs in [the administration building], is growing,” said Lyn Menne, CEO of Legacy Decatur. They got a new scholarship. They are expanding their services and they needed more office space.

Paint Love currently rents office space on the second floor of the administration building, but needs to expand. The Hyatt space will serve as office, storage and workshop space for the program.

Paint Love partners with educational and nonprofit organizations to engage youth in artist-led projects to strengthen conversations guided by trauma-informed norms.

Hyatt Cottage is part of the Legacy Decatur Creative Village and the Decatur Arts Alliance is working to create studios and apartments.

“We spoke with the Decatur Arts Alliance,” Menne said. “We worked with them on the creative village concept. They were okay with that, and it can actually generate revenue that we can use to reinvest in some of the work that’s going on there. Hyatt was never intended to be a residential solution, as it is the only one of the four buildings that has never been converted into apartments.

She added that it would be a good partnership because Paint Love works with artists and they connect artists with the school system and teachers.

Legacy Decatur received a creative village grant. Menne said she didn’t think the grant would cover the cost of the entire project, but it would have a major impact on the possibility of starting the project.

In other cases:

— An open house for South Housing Village was held in February and the project is progressing. At the next Decatur City Commission meeting on April 4, the city and Decatur Housing Authority will present the design plan for the project and the City Commission will vote on the design at the April 18 meeting. In May, DHA will apply for low-income housing tax credits from the state Department of Community Affairs.

— An Afghan family with 10 children moved into Sam Bell Cottage.

“They are settling in very well,” Menne said. “I think they’re comfortable here, and it’s nice to see them and their kids enjoying the peace and quiet.”

Legacy Decatur has partnered with Inspiritus, a refugee resettlement agency, to provide affordable temporary housing for refugees. The lease will end in December.

Legacy Decatur program director Madeleine Henner said the family are now clients of the Refugee Women’s Network, which put the family in touch with Walmart, where six of the family members have found jobs. She added that Walmart is within walking distance of Legacy Park, so the family doesn’t have to rely solely on MARTA.

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