The Gulch from Centennial Olympic Park Drive. Photo by Keizers via Wikimedia Commons.
Atlanta has entered into a proposed agreement with CIM Spring St. to develop the area of downtown known commonly as “the Gulch.” The council needs to review and approve the proposal.
The proposed agreement includes both the exchange of real property and several public purpose initiatives which satisfy the city’s commitment to affordable housing, public safety and economic development, according to city materials. Last month, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms encouraged the City Council to support the partnership with CIM, calling it a “once in a lifetime opportunity” to redevelop the economically depressed area.
“The CIM Group has made a commitment to foster economic development not just in The Gulch and not just in the neighborhoods around The Gulch, but in all twelve districts in the City,” Mayor Bottoms said in a statement at that time.
The public purpose initiatives the agreement lays out include:
- An investment of $28,000,000 into a trust fund that will be used to increase affordable housing citywide
- A commitment to construct a minimum of 200 residential units or 20 percent of the total built, whichever is greater, as affordable housing
- An investment of $12,000,000 into an economic development fund that will be used to encourage new investment citywide
- A commitment of $2,000,000 towards the implementation of the Atlanta Committee for Progress-designed workforce development plan
- The construction of a new APD mini-precinct, which will be leased to the city for $1/year
- The construction of a new, seven-bay fire station or $12,000,000 towards the cost of building a new station
- Numerous security enhancements in the area including public safety call boxes and cameras
- A commitment to lease office space for Invest Atlanta at 50 percent below market rate
- A commitment to host the annual Peach Drop for the next ten years at no rental cost to the event organizers
- Construction of a new Nelson Street Bridge at an estimated cost of $5,000,000
- Establishment of a commemorative marker recognizing Carrie Steele Logan’s creation of the first orphanage to serve African American children in Georgia
- A commitment to a goal of at least 38 percent utilization of minority and female owned businesses and to offer 10 percent equity to MBEs and/or FBEs
- An agreement to cover all customary fees associated with redevelopment projects
“This proposed agreement with CIM represents a once in a lifetime chance to bring much needed investment and redevelopment to the heart of downtown Atlanta. The planned development will not only increase the city’s tax base and help to attract new employers, it will bring us closer to our vision for One Atlanta through a number of significant investments,” Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said in a statement. “I am hopeful that the members of the City Council will support this exciting and transformative opportunity for Atlanta.”
Also included in the agreement are issues related to several office buildings. CIM Spring St. agrees to renovate 185 Spring Street and 160 Trinity Ave. The developer also agrees to demolish 175 Spring Street to increase available parking. In exchange, the city will give the developer the warehouse at 2 City Plaza as well as that facility’s parking lot, according to City materials. The result of this agreement will result in 35 acres of new infrastructure, including roads, sidewalks and greenspaces.
The City Council is expected to vote on the proposed agreement on Sept. 17.