Many who want to red-light the Gulch project meet to voice concerns

Image 1 of 11

It would be the largest single development in Atlanta.  A proposed 2 billion dollar project in what's known as the Gulch.  It's 40 acres of land near Mercedes-Benz Stadium would be turned into a mix of high-rise offices, retail space, hotels, and homes. 

Atlanta's mayor and the Governor support it, but Thursday night many who want to red-light the Gulch voiced their concerns against it. 

Dozens gathered at the First Iconium Baptist Church to talk about what the 2 billion dollar project would mean for residents. Many worry the city won't fulfill promises of affordable housing and say it would drive up property values, and eventually push out longtime residents. 

"The big issue is affordable housing, 200 units in a billion dollar deal is not enough. Atlanta has an affordable housing crisis, people can't afford to live in the city, the residents will be moved out and gentrified," said Gerald Griggs with the Atlanta NAACP.

"It's a great project.  The state is participating, there's no sales tax in the gulch, there's no one living in the gulch, it's 40 acres, it's a hole in our city," said AJ Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress who supports the project. 

Critics who want to red-light the project say the only winner here would be the developer, CIM, based in Los Angeles. 

"They are granting a developer tax abatement for 30 years and the developer will build primarily offices that will otherwise occupy other buildings in the city," said Jim Martin who opposes the project. 

Some city leaders believe a final vote on the project could come as early as October 15.