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Minority-, female-owned businesses received 39.3% of money spent at Gulch

By David Pendered

The developer of the Gulch has spent slightly more money with minority- and female-owned businesses than is targeted in the agreement with Atlanta, the developer reported Wednesday during a 10-minute presentation to a committee of the Atlanta City Council.

The CIM Group outlined seven achievements in the past two years without mentioning a timetable for a big project in the blighted area known as the Gulch. Credit: Kelly Jordan

During the remainder of the presentation, The CIM Group’s senior leadership team focused on seven accomplishments in the past 18 to 24 months. The group did not mention timetables for new starts in the future, or leasing outlooks on the planned mini city named Centennial Yards.

The $5 billion mini city planned in the heart of the city’s downtown business district is a signature achievement of Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ one term in office. Bottoms prevailed on the city council to provide $1.25 billion in public financing for the project.

Part of the deal calls for CIM to ensure that 38% of development funds are spent with companies owned by minorities or women.

The actual participation rate is 39.3%, as of March 31, according to the report by The CIM Group to the council’s Finance/Executive Committee.

CIM reported total development spending in two years of $39.3 million. Of this total, $15.4 million has been allocated to businesses that are certified by the city’s Office of Contract Compliance as female- or minority-owned enterprises. Any minor discrepancies in spending rates may be due to rounding.

The April 27 ribbon cutting for ‘The Lofts at Centennial Yards’ was a major accomplishment for the project. Credit: Kelly Jordan

CIM intends to ensure it complies with the program known as Equal Business Opportunity once the pace of development quickens, Brigitte Broyard, a CIM associate vice president and EBO manager, told the committee.

“We are committed to engaging minority and female business enterprises within the city, those that are certified by the Office of Contract Compliance,” Broyard said.

In addition to identifying potential partners through contract compliance, CIM is working with Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm, to identify companies and also is working to meet with individuals who are known to Workforce Atlanta, the city’s job-training program now housed in Invest Atlanta.

CIM presented a slide with the following snapshots:

  • A total of 43 M/FBE firms have won contracts at the Gulch;
  • Of the 43 total firms, 25 M/FBE firms are prime contractors who won business directly with CIM;
  • Of the 43 total firms, 18 are female-owned enterprises;
  • 100% of the design and construction work at two buildings was completed by minority- or female-owned businesses: 160 Trinity Ave. and 185 Ted Turner Drive.

The entire CIM presentation lasted about 10 minutes. At the conclusion, committee Chairperson Jennifer Ide asked a few times if any committee members had a question for the CIM team. None did.

Before Broyard spoke, Shannon Crowell, vice president of real estate development at The CIM Group, provided a few dates related to the future:

  • Leasing is to begin in 60 days to 90 days for residences in the renovated structure located at 125 Ted Turner Drive;
  • Construction is to be complete by the end of 2021 in the building at 185 Ted Turner Drive. Interior construction for tenants is to begin in the coming weeks;
  • Construction of a parking lot is to begin soon.

The remainder of Crowell’s presentation mentioned the highlights of two years of work. Crowell said progress over the period includes seven successes:

  • The renovation of three buildings;
  • Demolition of the Nelson Street bridge;
  • A $4.6 million payment to Atlanta to support the city’s affordable housing initiatives. The total commitment is $28 million;
  • Approval by the Atlanta City Council to provide an estimated $1.25 billion in public financing to subsidize the project;
  • Legal victories over efforts to halt public participation in the project.

 

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David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow.

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1 Comment

  1. Julian Bene May 14, 2021 2:00 pm

    So they’ve invested under 1% of the $5 billion projected. The easy bit, rehabbing existing buildings. Wake us up when they build the platform.
    The TAD – property tax subsidy, which hurts Atlanta residents most – is still tied up in court.Report

    Reply

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