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The Game-Changers: Atlanta’s CIDs are evolving to meet their districts’ needs

November 1,2016

Source: Anna Bentley, Georgia Trend

"It’s been a banner year for the city of Atlanta. In Midtown, 20 high-rise projects are currently under construction, with another 23 in review – the most new development in Midtown’s history. In Buckhead, Peachtree Street’s 17-year transformation is nearing its close, while ambitious greenspace investments are just gearing up. And in Downtown Atlanta, there’s talk of capping the Connector, creating seemingly boundless development opportunities in the process.

At the middle of all of these projects are some of the state’s oldest community improvement districts, or CIDs, which funnel millions in commercial property taxes into capital improvements, beautification projects and safety enhancements in their districts.

CIDs allow communities to leverage self-taxed funds against state and federal dollars to accomplish projects that might not otherwise be possible. And they let communities focus their efforts directly inside their borders, an especially attractive advantage for a sprawling area like Metro Atlanta.

With a CID, “you have a concentration on a specific area to give very specific attention to the needs of that area,” says Curley Dossman, president of the Georgia-Pacific Foundation and board member for the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID), which comprises 220 blocks in the city’s central core. “In a large metropolitan area like Atlanta, the needs can be very broad based, but it’s an opportunity to gain some focus.”

Over the past year, three Atlanta CIDs – ADID, the Midtown Improvement District (MID) and the Buckhead CID – have focused their efforts on transportation improvements and increasing walkability along their busiest corridors. But they’ve also started work on headline-grabbing projects and preparations for major transportation referendums up for public vote this month that all have the potential to dramatically transform Atlanta’s core."

Read the full article at the link above.