On Wednesday, May 25th, the Council hosted it’s inaugural State of the Atlanta BeltLine event with a sold out room of Council members, elected officials and business and community leaders.
The program kicked off with a dynamic panel discussion with Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, Atlanta Public School Board Chair, Courtney English and Council Board member and Vice President Acquisitions and Development at Selig Enterprises, Scott Selig moderated by President and CEO of Invest Atlanta, Dr. Eloisa Klementich. The panel discussed the game-changing impact the Atlanta BeltLine has had in regards to connecting neighborhoods and communities, increasing property values across the City and attracting corporate relocations. The panel also discussed the challenges and hurdles that must be overcome to achieve full implementation including funding the construction of the trail and transit system as well as addressing community concerns for affordability in the BeltLine neighborhoods. The panelists encouraged the audience to remain engaged with the BeltLine, supporting their efforts through personal and business contributions as well as word of mouth.
Executive Director of the Atlanta BeltLine Partnership, Chuck Meadows and President of Atlanta BeltLine Inc. gave a presentation on the state of the Atlanta BeltLine. There has been a total of $449 Million invested in the project to date with over 110 projects complete or underway within the surrounding BeltLine Planning Area valued at over $3 Billion. The construction of the Westside Trail is on schedule and within budget. The 3-mile section of the trail with 14 access points will be completed in 2017. Construction on the Eastside trail extension will begin this Summer as easements and permits are currently being finalized. Preparations for the future transit component of the BeltLine are also being made on all sections of the trail.
City of Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed gave the keynote address expressing his excitement for the progress of the Atlanta BeltLine so far and the momentum of the full implementation. Mayor Reed applauded the partnerships that have formed between the Atlanta BeltLine and the City of Atlanta with the business community and organizations like the Council for Quality Growth to work together to implement this project that has had such a positive impact on economic development and quality of life in Atlanta.
The Council thanks Mayor Reed, Chuck Meadows,Paul Morris and all of the panelists for participating in the first ever State of the Atlanta BeltLine. Special thanks to all of our sponsors who made this event successful. View the full program presentation.