Resolute in Moving Atlanta Forward: Presenting the Central Atlanta Progress & Atlanta Downtown Improvement District 2021 Annual Report
By A.J. Robinson, CAP/ADID President
A roller coaster is a wild ride filled with highs and lows, twists and turns, and moments of joy and excitement followed by periods of anxiety and anticipation. You certainly needed to have your seatbelt fastened in 2021 as we all experienced lots of peaks and valleys and uncertainty along the way.
For Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, last year marked our 80th anniversary of serving the interests and needs of Downtown Atlanta. We celebrated many past successes and tipped our hats to those who preceded us in these efforts. We also took great pride in our involvement in important new accomplishments, such as advancements by the Committee for a Better Atlanta and the soaring tribute to the iconic leader for justice and equality, John Lewis—an event we are eager to make an annual tradition. We welcomed crucial federal funding for The Stitch and applaud the outstanding leadership of Senators Warnock and Ossoff in helping to secure this meaningful grant. Funding from USDOT’s RAISE grant program will be instrumental to advance the project, which will cap Interstates 75 and 85 with new parks, safe streets, and transit access that will directly benefit the quality of life for surrounding communities.
Last year, a total of 7 real estate projects were completed, totaling over $320 million. Another $8.4 billion of projects are under construction, planned, or proposed to deliver 5,550 housing units, 3,700 hotel keys, 2,000 student housing beds, and 12 million square feet in commercial space. Details are available on the Downtown Atlanta Investment Map and in the recently published Downtown Market Report.
Collectively, we mourned the passing of Braves’ legend Henry Aaron, and then saw those tears of sadness become tears of joy and celebration as the team triumphed in an improbable run to a World Series title. The Hawks, Falcons, Atlanta Dream, and United went above and beyond to navigate the pandemic and create safe in-person experiences for fans. We encouraged candidates for municipal offices to connect with business and civic leaders to make their case for guiding the city forward, while keeping a close eye on investment activity in the downtown core.
We all experienced a range of emotions in our efforts to move ahead through a most persistent pandemic. We cheered important medical achievements, fretted over emerging variants, went through spikes and drop-offs in cases, and adapted to changing needs for masking and social distancing. Through it all, though, we persevered and pushed ahead. We enter 2022 with new leadership at City Hall, and we look forward to working with everyone who shares our commitment to making Downtown the best that it can be.