Business

Emma Hurt
Dec 17, 2021 - Business

Electric vehicle maker Rivian to bring 7,500 jobs to Georgia

Governor addresses crowd
Gov. Brian Kemp addresses the crowd from between two Rivian electric truck models. Photo: Emma Hurt/Axios

While it wasn’t exactly a surprise, Georgia announced Thursday that upstart electric vehicle maker Rivian is building a massive manufacturing plant nearly 50 miles east of Atlanta.

Why it matters: This is the largest economic development announcement in state history, according to Gov. Brian Kemp.

  • Rivian's electric truck and SUV models have attracted a lot of press and investment from companies across the country, including Amazon, which has ordered 100,000 delivery vehicles from Rivian.
Thomas Wheatley
Dec 9, 2021 - News

Traffic to downtown Atlanta lags behind prepandemic levels

Data: Inrix; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios
Data: Inrix; Chart: Sara Wise/Axios

Traffic congestion is picking up in metro Atlanta, but trips to downtown are still below the levels seen during early 2020, before Covid forced many of us out of the office and onto Zoom.

Driving the news: Trips to downtown Atlanta this fall were 16% below their prepandemic levels, according to new data from INRIX, a mobility research firm.

Kristal Dixon
Dec 7, 2021 - Business

Georgia newspapers take Google, Facebook to court

Illustration of the Facebook like icon holding cash.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Georgia newspaper companies and their counterparts around the country have been filing antitrust civil action lawsuits against Google and Facebook for the past year, alleging the two firms have monopolized the digital advertising market, constricting revenue that would otherwise go to local news.

Why it matters: What started as a small-town effort to take a stand against Big Tech has turned into a national movement, with over 200 newspapers involved across dozens of states, Axios' Sara Fischer and Kristal Dixon report.

Swinging Richards, Atlanta's legendary strip club, says farewell

A squat building with no visible windows and a neon sign that says "Swinging Richards"
Photo: Thomas Wheatley/Axios

Atlanta's legendary all-male all-nude strip club Swinging Richards will close on Jan. 15 after three decades entertaining LGTBQ+ residents, out-of-towners and the occasional bachelorette party that managed to slip past security.

Why it matters: The closing of Swinging Richards is another blow to metro Atlanta's once-thriving, now-fading nude-dancing industry and evolving LGBTQ+ nightlife scene.

Can a “tech-infused” project help revive South Downtown?

Rendering of the proposed Forge Atlanta redeveloment project.
Rendering of Forge Atlanta, which would redevelop 10 acres of property formerly home to Gourmet Foods International. Photo courtesy of Urbantec Development Partners LLC

A developer wants to transform 10 acres of industrial land in South Downtown into a mixed-use community where technology plays a central role.

Urbantec Development Partners LLC is the brainchild behind Forge Atlanta, a “technology-infused” project that will feature multifamily housing, retail and entertainment shops and a life sciences center, the company said.

Why it matters: If Forge Atlanta proceeds, it would join Newport's redevelopment of South Downtown's historic buildings, CIM Group's plans to revamp the Gulch, and the planned reboot of Underground Atlanta to resuscitate the historic heart of the city.

Buckhead's proposed secession from Atlanta goes under the microscope

Illustration of the map of the city of Atlanta with the Buckhead neighborhood breaking off.
Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

The "Buckxit" movement by Atlanta’s whitest and wealthiest neighborhood to secede from the city met pushback on Thursday from opponents at a heated three-hour state committee hearing.

Why it matters: It was arguably the first showdown between the two sides that delved into the complexities and nuances of making Buckhead City a reality.

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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