Atlanta Continues Discussion On Gulch Development

Sep 17, 2018

Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced Monday in a press release that she would not ask for a vote on Gulch redevelopments from Atlanta’s City Council.

Last week, Bottoms appeared before a city council committee and asked that they pass a proposal to the full council that would give $1.75 billion in tax incentives to CIM Group to develop the Gulch.

But the committee balked at it saying they need more time. A few days later, councilmembers held a work session to discuss the proposal. The city would be on the hook for $500 million worth of public money given to the project.

In the proposal, CIM group said it would change the 40-acre hole in downtown Atlanta to residential, office, and retail space and a hotel.

The group would also give $28 million to an affordable housing trust, lease a mini-precinct to Atlanta police for $1 a year, build a fire station and host the Peach Drop for a decade with no cost to the city.

Councilman Amir Farokhi, who is opposed to the deal, said they owe it to the public to make sure it’s a good and transparent deal.

"People are fundamentally fatigued in the city of funding big development project where they feel like there's not clarity in the approach or seeing the benefit,” Farokhi said.

He said some people will question why so much public money is being tied to a project when their trash isn’t even being picked up.

On Friday, Bottoms appeared on a local radio station and encouraged citizens to call their councilmembers and ask for them to vote in favor of the deal citing the benefits it could bring to the city.

But in her latest message, she seemed to change course.

“We have negotiated an unprecedented deal that will transform a 40-acre hole in the ground and make tens of millions in significant investments in other parts of our city related to affordability, equity, and opportunity,” Bottoms said. “We recognize and respect that members of Council, and the public, need more time to understand the largest development deal in our city’s history. “