Thomas Wheatley
Oct 15, 2021 - News

What the Gulch incentives deal got for Atlanta

A rendering showing people biking and walking in the early at a proposed mixed-use development near State Farm Arena
Rendering courtesy of CIM Group

When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms struck a nearly $2 billion incentives package with a Los Angeles-based developer to develop a mixed-use mini-city in Downtown’s “Gulch” called Centennial Yards, the company promised tens of millions of dollars in return to combat inequity.

  • Yesterday, that developer literally handed Bottoms a $33.5 million check — and the Mayor knows how she wants to spend it.

Atlanta's once-innovative system for citizen engagement faces big changes

Illustration of two street signs with garbled, changing nonsense text.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

Oh, and money. They desperately need more funding. When the NPUs first met, their internal office had 18 dedicated staffers (federal funding helped). Today, it has four. Atlanta’s once-innovative program to include residents in the decision-making process about big-picture issues affecting their city needs a complete overhaul, according to a three-year study by a local champion for civic engagement.

Why it matters: It should be a critical avenue for regular folks to weigh in on long-term planning visions and policies like affordable housing, density, cash bail reform and climate change.


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