ATLANTA - Hours before the issue was scheduled to go before the City Council, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms announced she would not ask council members to vote Monday on the Gulch redevelopment project in downtown Atlanta.
"The Gulch" is basically a downtown ditch where people park and tailgate for sporting events, but Mayor Bottoms hopes it will become the site of massive redevelopment for downtown.
Developer CIM Group pitched the multi-billion-dollar project plan, and Mayor Bottoms has publicly urged City Council members to support it.
In a news release issued Monday morning, the Mayor said, “We recognize and respect that members of Council, and the public, need more time to understand the largest development deal in our city’s history. I have no intention of asking the authors of these proposals to request a vote on these proposals today.”
Mayor Bottoms has said the economic impact of the project would generate tens of millions of dollars a year in tax revenue, as well as create thousands of jobs for residents. Her proposal provides up to $ 1.75 billion in public financing for the development project.
In her statement, Bottoms said, “Members of my Administration will continue to work with members of Council and the public to better understand the substantial benefits we have negotiated and the benefits this project will bring to our entire city.”
The area would be mixed-use, a mini-city of sorts that includes green space, businesses, and residences. Mayor Bottom stressed that 20% of the housing would be designated as affordable. The end result would be approximately 35 usable acres of new infrastructure in downtown Atlanta.
Bottoms added, “For the past several months, members of my Administration have been working to finalize a deal to redevelop the Gulch area in downtown Atlanta. We have negotiated an unprecedented deal that will transform a 40-acre hole in the ground and make tens of millions in significant investments in other parts of our city related to affordability, equity, and opportunity.”
There was no immediate word on when the vote would be rescheduled.