Atlanta Mayor Reed and WRS CEO Scott Smith announced their $25.8 million deal today.
Mayor Kasim Reed says the sale will ease the financial burden on the city and give the historic center of the city a chance to reinvent itself. The Downtown Development Authority and City Council must still approve the deal. They are planning to close on the deal in 2015, starting construction on the $100 to $200 million project mid-2016. The probable new owner envisions a ‘community rather than a destination’.
Underground’s historic elements and street layout would remain, a grocery store, retail and restaurants would be added– but how many residential units and how high they would be is unknown at this time. They feel young professionals and empty-nesters are their market and the location is unparalleled.
Creative Loafing added that “efforts by MARTA and Central Atlanta Progress to breathe new life into the station could get an extra boost as part of Underground’s redevelopment. Reed says the deal could also spark new talk of the transit agency moving its headquarters from Lindbergh to Five Points.”
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This is a quick Photoshop image I created as an
“Underground / Five Points Redevelopment Concept”: CENTRAL ATLANTA PLAZA
Adding a traffic circle and colorful major public art sculpture on Peachtree St draws people south of the original Five Points.
The MARTA station has been reconfigured below plaza grade with glass canopied entrances at each corner of Central Atlanta Plaza. Sidewalk cafes and restaurants along Broad Street in the Fairlie-Poplar district would continue south of Five Points with outdoor tables and colorful umbrellas– enlivening the areas with pedestrians. The large rectangular Plaza-from Forsyth St to Pryor St- would allow for larger public events like New Years Eve’s Peach Drop. Grassy Parks at either end of the Plaza would strengthen the connection from the GWCC to the State Capitol of Georgia.