The excitement about new development obscures an awkward fact that the city and developers have to reckon with: Downtown already has more buildings than it has people who want to occupy them. It already has more road, rail, and bus capacity than any eastern U.S. downtown south of Washington, D.C. On weekdays, there are plenty of people there. The problem is that, at 5 p.m. on Fridays, the place clears out. Downtown Atlanta is often filled with a large, diverse group of people, but not many of them are residents.
It’s a “stitch” as in a way to sew together the moribund patch of no-man’s-land between the Civic Center MARTA station on West Peachtree Street and Folk Art Park at Piedmont. A. J. Robinson, Central Atlanta Progress’s president, floated the idea in 2016: a cap on I-75/I-85 to create a pedestrian-friendly space about two-thirds the size of Centennial Olympic Park. Basically, we’d build a roof over about 4,000 feet of the Downtown Connector and plant trees on it.
Proctor, Tanyard, Clear, and Intrenchment creeks all begin downtown and flow out from the city like spokes—west, north, east, and south. The creeks predate the railroads and highways that have nearly buried them, but their exact sources remain a mystery.
Eviscerating a century-old office building and refashioning it into apartments is no easy feat. Older offices are nonpliable, stubborn things, riddled with secret problems and outdated floor plans. But the hassle was worth it for Centennial Yards Company, the developer behind a 162-unit project called the Lofts at Centennial Yards South, a remake of half of the long-vacant Norfolk Southern Buildings.
A quick guide to what’s in development in downtown Atlanta, what’s proposed, and what might have been
Hard to keep all the numbered buildings and buzzwords straight? Here’s a quick guide to what’s proposed, what’s underway, and what might have been.
In 2013, the City of Atlanta agreed to fund $200 million of the $1.6 billion price tag for billionaire Arthur Blank’s Mercedes-Benz Stadium. However, that covered only upfront development costs and did not account for operating and financing expenses, which will be paid with nearly 40 percent of the city’s hotel tax over the next 30 years, for a total investment of roughly $700 million. Blank pegs private dollars at $850 million, leaving 40 percent of the total cost coming from public coffers.
Most high-rise homeowners covet top floors for city views, but this couple chose the ground level in order to create a lush courtyard surrounded by Buckhead’s skyline. Interior designer Bill Musso and his husband, Bryan Cooke, saw a concrete slab sometimes littered with debris and imagined possibilities. With the help of garden designer Alex Smith, they now enjoy an extra 3,200 square feet of outdoor living space, including nine trees.
Honey toast is one of the most dramatic makeovers you can give to a sandwich loaf, but certainly not the only one; stuffing comes to mind. But see also these preparations available at Atlanta-area restaurants, representing culinary traditions from around the world in which a little bit of bread gets transformed—by heat, by time, by a little special attention from the cook—into another masterpiece entirely.