Central Atlanta Progress President A.J. Robinson Discusses Downtown’s Vibrant Growth at Arnall Golden Gregory Event
ATLANTA – A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress (CAP) and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District, told an audience at Arnall Golden Gregory LLP that “this is probably as good a time for our downtown community as any since before World War II.”
Robinson spoke at a breakfast briefing at Arnall Golden Gregory hosted by the law firm’s Real Estate Practice. Robinson described numerous projects that are transforming the heart of Atlanta. CAP’s slogan is “Rediscover Downtown.”
“What we’re finding in this cycle, the next couple of decades, is a rediscovery of not only where Atlanta started but the vitality of how this community has continued to grow,” Robinson said.
He showed a slide of a section of Broad Street that’s been closed to vehicle traffic and is now a place where people sit outside throughout the day. “This is a picture I couldn’t show you six months ago,” he said. “We have places like this, as does most of Atlanta, popping up everywhere.”
He said “downtown is experiencing once-in-a-generation rate of growth.” The hospitality business is booming, the development pipeline has more than $6 billion in new projects, and another 15,000 residents and 30,000 jobs could be added in the next 15 years.
Old buildings are being converted into residences as the number of people living downtown gradually increases, and repurposed for other uses, such as technology office space and co-working space, he said.
Big projects such as Mercedes-Benz Stadium and The Stitch, a proposed greenway over the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector, grab the headlines, but downtown residents and workers “want us to go big with small stuff,” Robinson said. That means helping the homeless, preserving downtown’s heritage, growing downtown neighborhoods, supporting entrepreneurs, adding greenspace and improving mobility.
With an engaged business community, quality higher education and an “anything is possible” attitude, projects large and small that strengthen downtown will continue to get done, he said.
Abe Schear, a partner in Arnall Golden Gregory’s Real Estate Practice, introduced Robinson. He encouraged audience members to become involved in improving intown Atlanta.
“There are so many interesting things,” Schear said. “This is a remarkable city. There has got to be something out there that everybody can be involved in.”
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- Abe J. Schear