The Not-So-Obvious Connection Between Stadiums and Community

6 years ago 0 1 2168

I admit it. I am a skeptic when it comes to the community-building aspect of sports stadiums—and I am not alone. This issue is particularly relevant in Atlanta with the recent openings of the Mercedes-Benz Stadium and SunTrust Park and the soon-to-be completed renovation of Philips Arena, all done with public financial assistance.  In this blog, I focus on the Mercedes-Benz Stadium because it is the most expensive and prominent. Here’s my question: How can a huge building, that looks like either the Lunar Lander or an alien landing zone (think big hole in the roof) and that is used less than 100 days per year, help revitalize a struggling community? Wasn’t this supposed to happen before with Turner Field and the Georgia Dome? Don’t get me wrong. I support public-private partnerships and these revitalization efforts, but in general, I do not see the connection. With that said, I do think the

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The Atlanta Beltline: Will the Westside Trail Match the Eastside Trail’s Success?

7 years ago 0 1 2711

In a recent blog, I introduced the current sensation that is the Atlanta Beltline. The official website defines the beltline as “a sustainable redevelopment project that is transforming the city… [and will] ultimately connect 45 intown neighborhoods via a 22-mile loop of multi-use trails, modern streetcar, and parks – all based on railroad corridors that formerly encircled Atlanta.” The completed Eastside Trail has already enjoyed tremendous success as most visionaries and developers expected it would. Now, the Westside Trail is being developed, which is indeed exciting, but has led some developers and investors to question whether it will garner the same success and reception as its Eastside counterpart. Let’s take a look at both projects. Eastside Trail  Since its inception, $860 million has been invested within a half-mile of the Eastside Trail, which is a two-mile segment that connects Midtown and Old Fourth Ward neighborhoods. The Eastside Trail has gained

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Georgia State University Spurs Downtown Atlanta Development

7 years ago 0 0 2704

Georgia State University (GSU) has been experiencing unprecedented growth. It’s recent acquisition of Georgia Piedmont College has boosted the student population from 36,000 to 50,000. And as we know, with any population growth comes development. A recent Atlanta Business Chronicle article states, “And during the past two decades, roughly since Atlanta’s 1996 Centennial Olympic Games, the school’s evolution has been accompanied and exemplified by sustained growth of GSU facilities in Atlanta’s core.” Let’s take a look at the impact GSU’s population and development growth has had in downtown Atlanta. The growth impacts many different real estate types, including: Student Housing Student housing is a major component of GSU’s facilities growth. The same Atlanta Business Chronicle article notes that GSU recently added 1,152 with the opening of Piedmont Central in August 2016, located on the corner of Piedmont and John Wesley Dobbs Avenue. Private developers are active in GSU student housing

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The PUBLIC-Private Relationship in Real Estate Development

8 years ago 0 0 3453

Zoning and Permitting. Eminent Domain. In the past, that was about the extent of local jurisdictions’ involvement in private development. But my how times have changed. THE WHY There are three main reasons the public involvement in public-private relationship is growing: (1) the emergence of high density-mixed use product; (2) project size; and (3) the need for public financing. Zoning Changes Traditionally, developers would buy the land or property and do whatever they wanted. Government or public involvement in the process was limited to zoning and variance permitting, and, in some cases, exercising its right of eminent domain and contribution to infrastructure. Historically, zoning districts were restricted to one type of use (i.e. office or industrial).There was very little mixed use product. With rare exception, zoning did not take into account putting all uses up in the same place and at the same time. If changes were required, public hearings

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