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Business group says "renewal time" coming downtown Atlanta

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As you can see in this 2015 figure, “Stitch” is a “stitch” in which Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District work with the city to “cap” the downtown connector on parks, squares, and walking trails, and downtown and midtown. An initiative to reconnect. .. (Central Atlanta Progress)

The World Cup will take place four years later at the Mercedes-Benz Stadium in downtown Atlanta, and federal funding will finally be invested in “Stitch.” This is a long-standing vision of reconnecting Midtown with the historic city centre.

AJ Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress and Downtown Atlanta Development District, said taking advantage of these opportunities to be in downtown is an exciting and busy time. Robinson was speaking at the City Hall on July 27, sponsored by a private company. The City Hall was held in the Chick-fil-Ai University Hall of Fame.

“There’s a lot to do,” Robinson said. “But we are optimistic that these next few years will be updated and exciting and new.”

World Cup

Atlanta will be on the world stage in 2026, when the World Cup will take place, just as it did in the summer of 1996, when the Centennial Olympics were held. According to Robinson, the expectations and plans associated with hosting major international sporting events are a thrilling experience.

“But it can also be an incredibly productive time,” he said. “So we need to focus everyone on this idea of ​​how we can make the city look better in the next three or four years. This is a great opportunity in terms of Atlanta exposure, just like the Olympics.”

AJ Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress and Downtown Atlanta Development District. (Diana Bugby)

The Mercedes Benz Stadium is within walking distance of three major downtown projects. Redevelopment of Centennial Yard, 50 acres, $ 5 billion into Zagarch’s sports entertainment district. Adjacent to the Centennial Yard, Newport RE’s South Dawn Thun includes the redevelopment and adaptive reuse of 46 buildings spanning six blocks. Redevelopment of four blocks around Underground Atlanta. Five Point Malta Station, next to Underground Atlanta, has also undergone a $ 150 million makeover.

Voters recently approved $ 750 million in infrastructure bonds and a renewal of sales tax to fund road repairs, new sidewalks, bike roads, public safety and park improvements. City Hall Chairman Doug Shipman said these improvements would begin shortly and authorities are monitoring the clock in time for the 2026 deadline. Introducing Atlanta’s cultural and artistic scene during the World Cup is also a priority, he said.

“This will be a North Star to guide us,” Shipman said of the World Cup.

“It will be a calendar item that says,’What can we do in four years and how can we get there?'” “And how can we actually create the city we want for this next generation, not just what we want to present to the world?”

He also said the city would benefit significantly as visitors from all over the world would come to Atlanta to watch championship football and the income would be expected to flow.

“The World Cup four years from now is a big deal,” Shipman said. “All World Cup matches are 1.5 Super Bowls in terms of economic effectiveness. Four to six matches will be played in a month four years later.”

Shipman didn’t give a number. According to the NFL, the Super Bowl will bring up to $ 500 million to the host city, but some economists disagree.

stitch

Over the years, downtown has witnessed many transformational projects, including the Centennial Park and today’s Centennial Yard, according to Robinson. He said CAP’s long-standing vision of The Stitch-a project to cover part of the downtown connector with a park-is “the next big thing.”

“Stitch really made the front yard of downtown and midtown, and finally [the neighborhoods] We’re back together like in the 50’s, “Robinson said. “We really believe that it helps the community and will create a solid area between downtown and midtown.”

Robinson was optimistic about the project. He said Secretary of Transportation Pete Butigeg mentioned the project last year when Stitch received a Sustainable and Fair US Infrastructure Reconstruction (RAISE) grant from the U.S. Department of Transportation. rice field.

“We got national attention,” he said. “It took only 20 years.”

A full-time development manager has recently been hired for the project, Robinson said. CAP is applying for more federal funding from President Joe Biden’s $ 1.2 trillion infrastructure package. This package includes $ 1 billion to reconnect communities divided in the 1950s by federal highway projects such as the historic Sweet Auburn district of downtown.

US Congressman Nikema Williams has successfully advocated more money to be used to reconnect the neighborhood.

“This is the type of project that can actually receive huge amounts of money that could go down from the federal government,” Robinson said.

The Stitch’s plan is to consolidate all areas of the city through a series of elevated interconnected parks, squares and walking trails that spur public transport-oriented development, including affordable housing. ..

The project will create 14 acres on a new 3/4 mile platform that spans the I-75 / I-85 Downtown Connector between the Civic Center MARTA Center on West Peach Tree Street and Piedmont Avenue.

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