The CAP Story
Over the course of 80+ years of work, CAP has worked behind the scenes, integrating ideas, building partnerships, and coordinating efforts to improve the central city. Some of the milestones in the history of CAP and its predecessor organizations are highlighted below.
1941 The Central Atlanta Improvement Association (CAIA) is chartered.
1946 The Lochner Traffic Plan, initiated by CAIA, recommends a Downtown freeway system.
1952 At CAIA's request, the Georgia General Assembly enacts legislation to build Georgia Plaza Park.
1960 The Uptown Association is formed to promote the Ponce de Leon Avenue / North Avenue corridor.
1967 The Central Atlanta Improvement Association and the Uptown Association merge to form Central Atlanta Progress, Inc. (CAP).
1971 CAP conducts its first comprehensive planning project, the Central Area Study which focuses on transportation issues.
1971 The MARTA system, as envisioned by the Central Area Study, is approved in a public referendum.
1973 CAP organizes Park Central Communities, Inc., to develop a multi-use project on 78 acres in the Bedford-Pine Urban Redevelopment Area.
1975 CAP forms the Downtown Environmental Patrol, which evolves into the Atlanta Clean City Commission.
1976 CAP establishes a $63 million Mortgage Consortium for close-in neighborhoods.
1977 A mounted patrol, financed by CAP, is instituted as a means of increasing police visibility.
1977 CAP starts the Midtown Business Association, now known as the Midtown Alliance.
1980 CAP leads a drive to rebuild the Bowen Homes Day Care Center, which had been destroyed by a boiler explosion.
1981 The City, State, Fulton County, MARTA, and CAP begin planning for the redevelopment of Underground Atlanta.
1984 Trees Atlanta is founded by CAP, the Atlanta Parks Commissioner, and the Junior League to address Downtown's lack of green space.
1985 CAP helps to start the Downtown Child Development Center, which provides quality child care for 120 children.
1985 CAP organizes the Underground Festival Development Company to coordinate the redevelopment of Underground Atlanta as a new town center.
1988 The Central Area Study II (66K, PDF), sponsored by the City, Fulton County, and CAP, at a cost of $1.7 million, is unveiled. The emphasis shifts to quality of life in the Central Area.
1990 COMNET, the Security Communications Network, initiated by CAP in cooperation with the Atlanta Police Department.
1990 CAP forms the Central Area Network for Jobs, to place homeless people in meaningful jobs.
1990 CAP sponsors a ULI Redevelopment Study for the Summerhill neighborhood.
1991 CAP manages the Peachtree Street and Auburn Avenue Design Competition, resulting in designs that were constructed in time for the Centennial Olympic Games.
1991 CAP and the City appoint the Fairlie-Poplar Implementation Task Force, which brings needed focus and resources to Downtown’s first commercial district.
1995 CAP forms the 120-block Atlanta Downtown Improvement District (ADID) to make Downtown cleaner, safer and more hospitable.
1995 CAP creates COPA, Inc. to help redevelop the area around the new Centennial Olympic Park.
1996 The Ambassador Force® of Downtown Atlanta begins operation under the direction of CAP.
1996 CAP’s Municipal Court Study leads to the creation of the Atlanta Community Court.
1996 CAP’s Housing Study outlines the case for Downtown housing – thousands of new and rehabbed units are built before and after the Centennial Olympic Games.
1998 Northyards Business Park is begun by CAP affiliate COPA, Inc.
1999 CAP and COPA gain City, county and school board approval for the Westside Tax Allocation District create an incentive for Downtown development.
1999 CAP’s third comprehensive planning project, the Central Atlanta Action Plan is completed.
1999 CAP creates Homeward, Inc. to battle homelessness in metro Atlanta and spearheads the effort to build the Resource Opportunity Center (the Rock).
1999 ADID creates and initiates the Clean Team to keep Downtown’s sidewalks clean.
2000 ADID expands its area to 200 blocks and its mission to include transportation, marketing and capital improvements.
2000 CAP creates the Downtown Transportation Management Association to improve access and mobility in Downtown.
2000 CAP creates First Thursdays Art Walk, a monthly evening event promoting Downtown galleries.
2001 CAP manages the City Center Livable Centers Initiative planning program for southern Downtown.
2001 CAP creates Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week, offering a week of 3-course meals in Downtown's finest restaurants at a special price.CAP creates Lunch on Broad, a weekly lunchtime concert series in the Fairlie-Poplar district.
2002 ADID’s banner program enlivens Downtown streets.
2002 CAP Economic Development Department creates Downtown Development Day to showcase new housing, commercial and entertainment developments and quality office space.
2003 Let's Do Downtown, 100-day Downtown Initiative launched in partnership with City.
2003 Imagine Downtown, eight-month strategy planning process for Downtown launched.
2003 Downtown Atlanta's In Bloom program installs and sets up maintenance for flower baskets throughout Downtown.
2003 CAP/ADID launch new website – www.atlantadowntown.com, developed by Turner.
2004 CAP received $3.6 Woodruff grant and $500,000 Turner Broadcasting contribution for Imagine Downtown.
2004 The Atlanta City Council, Fulton County Board of Commissioners, and the Atlanta Board of Education approved the creation of an Eastside Tax Allocation District for much of Downtown east of Peachtree Street.
2005 Ground is broken by Governor Sonny Perdue and Mayor Shirley Franklin and phase one construction of Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard is completed. ADID was an integral catalyst and financial supporter of this roadway project to improve east-west access in Downtown.
2005 CAP orchestrates a two-stage juried international design competition to commission a tribute to former Mayor, Senator and UN Ambassador Andrew Young.
2006 TheImagine Downtown vision plan to guide Downtown investment and public improvements is adopted by Atlanta City Council.
2006 Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin asks CAP to staff the appointed 19 members tasked to study the feasibility of a Civil and Human Rights Center. The Coca-Cola Company graciously donates to this cause a 2 ½ acre site adjacent to the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coca-Cola Museum.
2006 The Downtown and Midtown Wayfinding Signage System is installed including over 270 signs supporting over destinations.
2006 CAP/ADID created a weekly lunchtime concert series,Wednesdays in Woodruff.
2006 CAP/ADID partnered with the City of Atlanta to create the Woodruff Park Reading Room, an open-air reading room in northern portion of Woodruff Park.
2007 Woodruff Park Memorandum of Understanding approved by City Council and Mayor
2007 Operation Shield, an overarching security initiative, led to the installation in 2007of 13 integrated surveillance cameras Downtown, the formation of a web-based clearinghouse for Downtown crime information, installation of a two-way radio link with APD, and creation of Crime Stoppers Atlanta, a program that provides rewards for anonymous tips.
2007 CAP launched the Downtown Interactive Parking Guide in 2007, a web-based resource for Downtown parking information. The Guide features a parking map of more than 195 facilities that collectively contain more than 65,000 parking spaces.
2007 Downtown Navigator e-newsletter was launched.
2007 In 2007, CAP and the City of Atlanta together developed a revolutionary zoning code that will govern growth and development Downtown. It is designed to ensure that Downtown becomes a denser, urban, walkable, mixed-use 24-hour environment.
2007 Central Atlanta Progress partnered with the Atlanta Development Authority and successfully won $60 million of New Markets Tax Credits from the U.S. Treasury.
2007 The Green Line Plan, an ambitious concept to revitalize the east-west corridor along Alabama Street between the Georgia State Capitol and the Georgia Dome, is revealed
2008 ADID and the Ambassador Force helped plan, coordinate, administer and implement effective anti-panhandling operations involving all Downtown public safety agencies as well as the private sector.
2008 The Coca-Cola Company, the Atlanta Hotel Council and the Atlanta Police Foundation partnered with ADID and donated 12 fully equipped police bicycles for APD to utilize in patrolling Downtown.
2008 Mayor Shirley Franklin and the Atlanta City Council approved a master plan for Woodruff Park in 2008. The plan includes the refurbishing of furniture and fi xtures throughout the Downtown park, addition of the Chess Room, and expansion of the Reading Room.
2008 CAP/ADID worked to create the SPI-1 Downtown District Development Review Committee, which meets with applicants and provides feedback on development plans for projects located within the Downtown Special Public Interest (SPI) zoning district.
2008 CAP relaunched its website in with a new design and improved navigation, making it easier for users to quickly find information. Features include an interactive parking guide, newsletter signup and a document library.
2008 CAP spearheaded the creation of a statewide coalition that was successful in the November election to change the State of Georgia Constitution. Voters elected to amend the Constitution to allow school systems to once again choose to participate in local TADs.
2008 The partnership of Imagine Downtown, Inc. (IDI) was awarded $20 million in New Market Tax Credits to help developers finance their Downtown real estate projects.
2008 Give Change That Makes Sense is the tagline of the three-tiered strategic campaign to address aggressive panhandling throughout the city of Atlanta with a focus in the Downtown area, led by CAP, APD and the Mayor’s Office.
2009 CAP and ADID embarked on a stimulus funding plan to continue to support the growth and redevelopment of the center city by securing an additional $4.0 million. Improvements include streetlight repairs, installation of 20 new bike racks, vehicular and pedestrian traffic operations and signal upgrades, and refreshed landscaping.
2009 Major strides were made in delivering parking solutions for Atlanta through a coalition of CAP/ADID, APD, and parking operators of surface lots and garages to improve the overall parking experience Downtown and mitigate parking lot crime.
2009 Downtown Dining District was launched, boasting 31 members in its inaugural season and Downtown Atlanta Restaurant Week was expanded to two weeks and served over 60,000 diners.
2009 SKANSKA achieves LEED-certification while renovating the historic Olympia Building (pictured here) as the new home for ADID’s Ambassador Force and Clean Team.
2010 In collaboration with the 18th annual Congress for the New Urbanism, CAP/ADID launches an initiative to transform the way that the Downtown community aims to create a sustainable, healthy and livable urban core. CAP, along with the City of Atlanta & MARTA, is awarded a $47.6 million TIGER II grant for phase one of the Atlanta Streetcar.
2010 Over 200 academic, civic, economic and government leaders begin a conversation about the future of our state. The 2010 GeorgiaForward Forum meets at Macon State College to discuss the most pressing challenges facing Georgians today, including the economy, water equity, education and transportation.
2010 Downtown Transportation Management Association’s (TMA) partner, Cousins Properties, continued its commitment to reducing congestion and air pollution in Downtown Atlanta with the implementation of a bike-share program.
2010 Playable 10, in partnership with ATOP (Atlanta’s Taskforce on Play) and the Georgia Institute of Technology, sponsored an international design competition for an extraordinarily accessible and inventive playground design for Woodruff Park.
2010 The Leadership Forum and Urban Lab launched in January 2010 was hosted by CAP and Cousins Properties to address topics related to Downtown Atlanta’s future including water, energy, transit and livability.
2011 ADID completed a number of capital improvements, including the installation of 129 flower planters along Woodruff Park’s walkways.
2011 CAP/ADID created the Downtown Green Source program to provide the connections, resources and education necessary to enhance the environmental sustainability and economic vitality of Downtown Atlanta.
2011 CAP launched the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge aimed to reduce energy and water consumption 20 percent by 2020 across participating buildings.
2011 CAP/ADID partnered with the Atlanta Police Department (APD) on the Clean Car Campaign to encourage motorists to remove viewable valuables from vehicles after parking, reducing the odds of break-in by nearly 95 percent.
2011 The $1 million FairliePoplar Historic District Streetscape Project made the busy corridor safer and more attractive. In addition to upgrades to the sidewalks, improvements included new bike racks, trashcans and landscaping.
2011 The I-75/85 Connector Transformation effort completed in fall 2011 yielded a strategic plan identifying enhancement opportunities along the interstate, including urban forests, public art, vertical greening and lighting.
2011 The master developer contract for the advancement of the Downtown Multimodal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) project is approved, furthering CAP’s commitment to the 2008 Green Line plan and support of the redevelopment of the Downtown “railroad gulch” area.
2011 CAP supported the 85-year-old Sweet Auburn Curb Market in its launch of a renovation project aimed at critical capital improvements to increase the energy efficiency of the building, as well as cosmetic upgrades to aid vendors in attracting customers.
2011 CAP’s efforts to encourage reinvestment in the streetcar corridor were supported with the awarding of two grants: an Atlanta Regional Commission Livable Communities Initiative grant and a ULI Urban Innovation grant.
2012 Operation Best Foot Forward was formed as a result of collaboration between Underground Atlanta and adjoining businesses, the South Peachtree Merchants’ Association, the City of Atlanta, MARTA and CAP/ADID. The group aims to improve the area’s aesthetic appeal of Downtown south of Marietta Street to Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard on Peachtree Street.
2012 The iconic ATL playground opened in Woodruff Park along with a number of other park improvements which were made possible in part by a Park Pride Grant.
2012 Along with the City of Atlanta Mayor’s Office of Sustainability, CAP/ADID was presented with the 2012 Southface Award of Excellence in recognition of its contributions to the Atlanta BBC.
2012 CAP/ADID partnered with EPA, the City of Atlanta and Sustainable Atlanta to host the inaugural Downtown Atlanta Earth Day Clean-Up Challenge.
2012 In fall 2012, CAP/ADID partnered with the Georgia Tech College of Architecture, School of City and Regional Planning to evaluate and propose recommendations for enhancing mobility through and access to destinations in the Northside Drive corridor, with the Georgia Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal (MMPT) project as a focus.
2012 Work was completed in conjunction with a long list of partners—most importantly the Atlanta Regional Commission through their award of and LCI supplemental planning grant—to develop the Atlanta Streetcar Corridor Development and Investment Guide.
2012 In collaboration with the City of Atlanta Public Art Program and adjacent property owners, Margaret Mitchell Square was revitalized through fountain repairs and landscaping improvements.
2013 A new banner program utilizing a “Brought to You by CAP/ADID” seal was introduced to position CAP/ADID as the driving force behind many Downtown improvements and innovations.
2013 Construction begins on the 2.7 mile Atlanta Streetcar line.
2013 CAP/ADID kicked off the Downtown Atlanta Parking Assessment project to review the state of parking in Downtown and develop solutions for managing public perception.
2013 Collaboratively with stakeholders and the Atlanta Convention & Visitors Bureau, CAP developed a plan to transform Andrew Young International Boulevard into “Downtown Atlanta’s Premier Hospitality Corridor” and implemented sidewalk repairs for the 2013 NCAA Final Four Tournament.
2013 CAP worked with city leadership to draft and define a new street-vending ordinance that will allow up to 31 vendors to operate in Downtown, and the Atlanta City Council passed the ordinance in early November.
2013 CAP incubator organization, GeorgiaForward launches the Young Gamechangers program.
2013 The Partner for Hope Task Force is created and the initiative was granted the support of a LEAD Atlanta Cohort Community Project team.
2013 CAP/ADID supported the creation of Sweet Auburn Works, an organization intended to implement preservation-based economic development.
2013 CAP published its Downtown Investment Map to spotlight $577 million in public and private investment in Downtown between 2012 and 2014.
2013 CAP/ADID joins the worldwide living Holocaust Memorial effort, the Daffodil Project and Celebration and plants 20,000 daffodils throughout Downtown.
2013 CAP supported the work of the Downtown Development Technical Advisory Committee to ensure the successful revitalization of South Downtown Atlanta in the context of planned investments in nearby large projects.
2013 Launch of the CAP/ADID Downtown Partners Program to engage small businesses, nonprofits and individuals in support of Downtown.
2014 The Atlanta Streetcar officially opened to the public.
2014 CAP/ADID, along with Midtown Alliance and the Buckhead Community Improvement District, released a report demonstrating the economic and fiscal impact of the Peachtree Corridor.
2014 Partner for Hope reveals a new website to help individuals and groups find organizations with which to partner in serving the homeless.
2014 Collaboration with Councilman Kwanza Hall’s office led to the successful updating of zoning regulations in the Sweet Auburn neighborhood and Martin Luther King, Jr. Landmark District designed to make building construction and investment in the historic district easier, while continuing to protect the historic fabric of the community.
2014 CAP provided support to Invest Atlanta in the execution of the Downtown Atlanta Façade Improvement Grant program, which funds private property improvements to enhance the visual appeal of Downtown buildings.
2014 The Center for Civil and Human Rights opens.
2015 CAP worked with the City of Atlanta to create safe, protected bike lanes throughout Downtown including bike traffic signals.
2015 Recommendations for the Marta Makeover were released and implementation efforts began.
2015 The Connect Downtown campaign is launched to promote the use of alternative transportation options in and around Downtown.
2015 At the 2015 Department of Energy Better Buildings Summit, Atlanta was recognized as a key partner in the national water savings pilot.
2015 Atlanta reached its goal of saving 20% water consumption in commercial buildings well before 2020 and releases a robust implementation model to aid similar markets in replicating the program.
2015 The Peachtree Street Bridgescape Competition sought creative strategies to enhance existing 75/85 infrastructure, elevating the experience for travelers along the Connector and improving the environment for pedestrians and cyclists on the bridge surfaces.
2015 CAP helps to launch Memorial Drive Atlanta, an organization formed to plan, coordinate, and fund improvements along Memorial Drive.
2015 McKinsey & Company conducted a pro-bono study of the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District and its initiatives leading to the development and implementation of a two-year enhancement strategy.
2015 The Downtown Atlanta Ambassador Force and Clean Team are restructured including new uniforms, an increase in APD involvement, new signage, and deeper engagement with public nuisances.
2015 The Downtown Atlanta Daffodil Project and Celebration receives the 2015 Pinnacle Award from the International Downtown Association.
2015 With support from CAP/ADID, the Atlanta Art and Entertainment District gains permission to stray from citywide signage restrictions in order to encourage non-traditional, innovative urban signs and street graphics that support public space programming and special events.
2015 CAP issues an RFP inviting firms to conduct research and analysis regarding the possibility of casino gaming in Downtown Atlanta.
2016 CAP celebrates "75 Years of Progress" at its Annual Meeting & Awards Celebration, held at Georgia Aquarium.
2016 Woodruff Park receives a Heart of the Community grant from Southwest Airlines for creative placemaking and revitalization efforts.
2016 CAP unveils "The Stitch" concept to the public and begins a study to confirm the structural feasibility of the plan to cap the Downtown Connector with a deck park and vertical real estate opportunities.
2017 The Downtown Atlanta Master Plan is approved by Atlanta City Council. The Plan is the primary vision-setting and policy-directing strategy to lead the on-going revitalization and evolution of Downtown Atlanta for the next fifteen years.
2017 CAP/ADID hires a Woodruff Park project manager, debuts a mobile activity kiosk called the Game Cart, updates the park's visual identity, and expands park programming, all thanks to the Heart of the Community grant from Southwest Airlines.
2017 Atlanta City Council passes legislation to create Arts & Entertainment Atlanta, a neighborhood activation and economic development project that will fuse new outdoor media, local art, and advertising and funds for cultural and public space programming in Downtown.
2018 CAP/ADID launches new logo system under an umbrella identity, Atlanta Downtown, marking the most dramatic change in its visual identity since 1967. The organization also launches a redesigned website.
2018 CAP galvanizes its membership to vocalize their support of the Gulch redevelopment agreement, which was, after intense public discussion, approved by Atlanta City Council.