Redevelopment of The Gulch, financed partly by Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank, recently moved closer to fruition. Invest Atlanta’s board approved $40 million in bonds to help finance the redevelopment of 40 acres of weedy parking lots and railroad tracks in downtown across from Mercedes-Benz Stadium, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.
On Nov. 5, the Atlanta City Council voted 8 to 6 in favor of legislation that would help provide Los Angeles-based CIM Group nearly $1.9 billion in public subsidies to redevelop the area. The project is expected to permanently reshape the city’s skyline.
The vote capped months of controversy. Bottoms’ administration had to postpone a vote three times because of a lack of council support.
Two Invest Atlanta board members — Eshe P. Collins, representing Atlanta Public Schools, and Fred Smith, representing City Council — opposed the Gulch resolution related to the Westside Tax Allocation District, which passed 7 to 2.
Smith said the amount of public money being used to finance the $5 billion-dollar project did not match the benefits the public will receive. Collins, the vice chair of the Atlanta Board of Education, said that the schools weren’t included in negotiations.
The Gulch development will be the largest since Peachtree Center started in the 1960s. CIM proposes 18 parcels with at least nine skyscrapers of 225 feet or more in height, including one rising 500 feet or about 40 stories.
The plan also calls for 9 million square feet of office space, 1,000 residences, 1,500 hotel rooms and 1 million square feet of retail space.