$6.5 billion worth of investments planned for downtown Atlanta over 5 years
ATLANTA, Ga. (CBS46) – Downtown officials shared a new investment map that outlined $6.5 billion going towards south downtown over the next five years.
“This investment is really bringing retail. It’s bringing restaurants. It’s bringing better public and green space for folks to enjoy on their lunch break or in between meetings,” said Alena Green, Director of Economic Development Central Atlanta Progress.
Green compiled this data from public and private projects either just finished, underway, or planned in south Atlanta in 65 acres of downtown Atlanta.
“We are going to see a doubling of residential units to our downtown in the next 5 years,” Green said.
She said many new complexes will have nearly a quarter of dedicated affordable units.
She added that there are already signs that the downtown core has revitalized substantially since the peak of the pandemic.
Green said traffic is up 50% year-to-year.
In Summerhill, which has seen significant recent development, some neighbors said they’re concerned this growth prioritized the well-off.
“I feel like if I work here, I should be able to live here as well in the city,” said Messiah Jones. “I shouldn’t have to stay on the outskirts and work in the city,” Jones said.
CBS46 reached out to the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association. Officers provided this statement in an email:
Ensuring these projects contribute towards good people infrastructure Downtown – we’re in total support.
We’re definitely excited and believe that these projects have massive possibilities for positive impact.
Luckily, urbanism trends and growing understanding of good urbanism is on our side! That said, parking stands to threaten everything. No matter what is built, if lawmakers, developers, and Atlantans can’t get on the same page about embracing non-car transit, we’re destined for gridlock and sad blocks consisting solely of parking decks forever. We’re excited to see City Council (Dozier) in conversation with developers (CIM) regarding parking minimums, etc.
Timeline, politics, funding, etc all pose a threat to these as well. As residents, we’re excited to have all the opportunities these developments promise (places to dine, shop, socialize, etc), but if history and past mistakes/experience have taught us anything, it’s that we could be waiting years (or forever) for promised developments. However, it’s these past disappointments that make the clear progress and incremental activation of current projects extremely exciting!
We want to also include that PUBLIC space and PUBLIC access is critical. If all these entities own their separate (massive) pieces of Downtown, they have all the more responsibility to provide quality public space accessible to all as this is currently lacking and developments in Atlanta tend to create lovely rooftops, courtyards, etc that are only accessible to office workers or apartment complex residents or by ticketed admission.
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