Highlights from 7th Annual Downtown Development Day
Georgia State University President Delivers Keynote Address Regarding University’s Explosive Growth
Central Atlanta Progress Sets Sights on New Opportunities for Redevelopment
November 12, 2009 (ATLANTA)- Despite the heavy rains brought on by Hurricane Ida, the annual Downtown Development Day attracted more than 450 professionals from all areas of the real estate industry on Tuesday to the new addition to AmericasMart (Building 2 – West Wing), making it one of the most successful in the event’s seven-year history.
“Of course we would have preferred perfect fall weather for all our attendees,” said A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress and the host of the event. “The fact is I think everyone who came out learned a great deal about where our Downtown sub-market stands with current development activity along with our solid prospects for growth. They also had ample opportunity to mingle with hundreds of fellow industry professionals throughout the morning at the Downtown development expo and the breakout sessions.”
Academic excellence, the Downtown Atlanta location and the arrival of a football team in the fall of 2010 were the three factors Georgia State University President Dr. Mark Becker attributed to the school’s explosive growth this fall.
As the keynote speaker, Dr. Becker reported from the fall of 2008 to the fall of 2009 the university’s student body grew by 2,500 students. Now more than 3,000 students are housed Downtown. There is a waiting list for 700 beds after adding 400 this fall. The third residence hall recently opened as well- the first at the university to include a dining facility. The school has seen a jump in its number of applications from 2,200 in 1995 to 12,000 for this fall.
Central Atlanta Progress revealed during the meeting that 9 out of 10 projects cited for redevelopment in 2003 are now complete, and the organization has created a new list of opportunities for redevelopment.
“We’re looking to the future proud of what we’ve accomplished so far, while knowing that the Downtown community can be even better,” said Robinson. “All 10 of these new opportunities for redevelopment can and will be great assets for our city if the proper investment is made.”
The new list for redevelopment contains the Atlanta Constitution building, the Medical Arts Building (a carryover from the previous list), Palms Hotel/Thrifty Car Rental, Top of MARTA 5 Points Station, 222 Mitchell, Methodist Center, Rufus Rose House, Wheat Street Gardens site, former Norfolk Southern headquarters and the Gulch area near CNN Center.
This list starts a conversation with the current owners of each property and other Downtown stakeholders about options for revitalization. Even with some existing development on hold, an open dialogue on these projects will work to constructively expedite future efforts towards growth and renewal.
Cousins Properties received the first annual Downtown Economic Impact Award for the work the company has done in revitalizing the One Ninety One Peachtree Tower where the company is headquartered. The company invested $9.1 million in enhancements including canopies over the entrances, new restaurants (such as Bistro 191 and Il Mulino), lobby renovations, and the eco-friendly Resolution Fitness club.
Winners in the 4th Annual Atlanta Downtown Design Excellence Award were recognized for design innovation across five different categories. The five winners were chosen from 21 entries, including:
• Martin Luther King, Jr. Federal Building designed by Lord, Aeck & Sargent for the General Service Administration (community)
• The Ritz-Carlton, Atlanta designed by The Johnson Studio and Looney & Associates (hotel )
• The Jones Group designed by CG Creative Interiors for (office)
• W Atlanta Downtown Residences with architecture by Pickard Chilton and interiors by BurdiFliek (residential)
• 30 Tables, a Concentrics Group restaurant owned by Legacy Property Group and designed by ASD, Inc. (restaurant/bar)
Breakout sessions held during the event brought out various perspectives regarding infrastructure improvements in Downtown, the outlook on real estate financing and the prospects for economic growth and development, particularly with a new mayor heading to office in 2010.
Media Contact: Thomas Smith, A. Brown-Olmstead Associates, 404-659-0919 Thomas@newaboa.com
ABOUT CENTRAL ATLANTA PROGRESS:
Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. (CAP) is a Downtown business association with 211 members. Its mission is to build a 21st century Downtown as the heart of the Atlanta Region – a vibrant community with strong leadership and sustainable infrastructure that is safe, livable, diverse, economically viable, accessible, clean, hospitable and entertaining. It is governed by a 60 plus-member Board of Directors, including an Executive Committee that oversees the monthly operational decisions on behalf of the Board. The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) is a 510(c)(3) non-profit organization created by CAP to make Downtown safer, cleaner and more hospitable.