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It’s 2018, and the massive amounts of large-scale developments in Atlanta astound both long-time residents as well as newcomers.
The current pace of development rivals any of the other construction booms that Atlanta has had at any time in the modern era.
The danger is that we are replicating the suburban aesthetic and cultural environment of decades past by focusing on parking, car-oriented retail and a suburban design ethos with little regard for how these design choices work within the city.
By the end of a roughly 90-minute public meeting at Atlanta City Hall on Wednesday night, two things were getting familiar through repetition: the city’s pitch for up to $1.75 billion in tax incentives for a developer pursuing a Gulch re-do; and opponents saying the people of the city ought to get a lot more out of the deal.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms wanted City Council to approve a Gulch redevelopment deal as early as Monday, though she’s backed off that timeline. Not everyone on Council seems convinced that the proposed sweet deal for the developer is just as sweet for city residents.
The Fortune 500 company looking to move its corporate headquarters to the Gulch in downtown Atlanta is Norfolk Southern Corp.
The railroad company ranked as No. 284 on the Fortune 500 list, currently is based in Norfolk, Va. It opened its current 21-story headquarters in Norfolk in 1988. The headquarters relocation could bring as many as 1,400 jobs to Atlanta.
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms went to Atlanta City Council on Tuesday to make the case that a proposed Gulch rebuild with heavy public incentives is a good deal. A nearly three-hour Council work session revealed some agreement with that, but a lot of skepticism too.
The planned 27-acre development in the “Gulch” in Downtown Atlanta has won support from an array of governmental entities for its concept of building a mini city above the network of parking lots and a parking deck stretching between CNN Center and MARTA’s Five Points Station.
Atlanta City Council is wading into some proposals about if to allocate (and millions and millions) of tax dollars to private developers to try and encourage building in a pair of special zones on either side of the Connector. Ground zero is Downtown’s Gulch.