Cooperation Among Business, Governments Key to Successful Downtown Revitalization

ATLANTA (Jan. 25, 2010) –

During Atlanta magazine’s recent Big Idea Roundtable, Carter President Scott Taylor spoke on the vital role cooperation among the business community, city and county plays in downtown revitalization initiatives – specifically in neighborhoods surrounding major tourist attractions and sports arenas.

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Carter has already taken on this challenge in Cincinnati as co-master developer and project manager of The Banks, $1 billion mixed-use development on Cincinnati‘s downtown riverfront that will comprise roughly 2.8 million square feet of new mixed-use space to be built in phases over the next decade.

The topic is big news in Atlanta right now, as three major new attractions are in the fundraising and design stages in downtown Atlanta.  The National Health Museum, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the College Football Hall of Fame are all scouting sites adjacent to the existing tourist draws including Centennial Olympic Park, the Georgia Aquarium and the new World of Coca-Cola. Carter has been hired by the National Health Museum to help identify and acquire a site in downtown Atlanta. In addition, Carter will coordinate predevelopment activities, including working with various public and civic stakeholder groups and advise the board and museum staff throughout this process.

 

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Taylor commented that a stronger partnership between the private and public sector is the missing link in Atlanta in the areas surrounding the Georgia Dome and Turner Field, shown in photo at left. “People that own sports teams don’t make any money off the team itself, they make it off the facilities, said Taylor. “And if you look at Cowboys Stadium, at the Patriots’ [Gillette Stadium] just outside Boston, they used the economic engine from a hundreds-of-millions-of-dollars facility to revitalize areas. But it takes a significant amount of economic incentives in order to get those things off the ground. What these owners like to see is the commercial, the retail, the hospitality. It drives the game-day experience that allows the venue to thrive when the games aren’t there. Turner Field, I’d say yes, it will happen, but I don’t know when. But it will take some serious economic incentives to get it going.

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We’re working on a project now in Cincinnati,” Taylor is quoted as saying. “It’s in between Great American Ball Park where the Reds play and Paul Brown Stadium where the Bengals play (photo at right). It’s 18 acres on the Ohio River, a vacant parcel of land that’s been there for 30-plus years. It’s ripe for development, but it hadn’t been developed because of tension between the city and the county and the business community. 

“Now we’re coming out of the ground with 330 apartment units, 100,000 square feet of retail, office towers, and a hotel to anchor this wonderful part of the city. But it didn’t happen until there was great unity among the business community, city, and county.”

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