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Martinman

The season that changed Atlanta

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Oct 20 - Atlantic Station officially opens to the public Thursday at 10 a.m followed by a full week of Grand Opening events. Atlantans get their first chance to experience the 800,000 sf of new intown shopping, including the first new intown department store in 40 years. Could this development symbolize a sea change in how the city develops as well as encouraging additional urban retail intown?

Nov 12 - The new High. The High Museum expansion grand opening of its 177000 sf expansion bringing new excitement to Woodruff Arts Center and possibly invigorating interest in the new symphony hall and in the arts in general.

Nov 23 - Georgia Aquarium opens, expecting to draq two million visitors annually. Already the aquarium has been a catalyst for future retail / hotel development, prompted accelerated infrastructure improvements and is creating a critical mass of attractions with Coke World, Imagine It and Centennial Park itself. What will be the impact of having a hugely popular destination in the heart of the city? Will downtown develop in a way that enables these visitors to eliven the city?

Forgive me if Im a little excited but I just walked around Atlantic stations retail district and it looks awesome! Then drove through Midtown and noticed existing businesses sprucing up such as the Regency suites on 10th and new businesses opening in old buildings along Peachtree. Then down Ivan Allen and suddenly this once blighted and forgotten area is taking on an air of vibrancy with new trees and street lights and construction everywhere. It just seemed to me that there is tangible evidence all around of the city becoming the place imagined in the minds of city planners.

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I think this fall will be a very exciting time for Atlanta. In some ways, this fall can also help symbolize Atlanta's reemergence into the skyscraper building trend with the openeing of 1180 Peachtree.

I think I might just have to make my way down to Atlantic Station next weekend. ;) Of course, I know I will be visiting the GA Aquarium sometime soon after it opens. :D

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Wow, Atlanta is really coming together so quickly. I actually was in Atlantic station today. I went to IKEA and it was crowded (well had a whole lot of people). They also have affordable, i mean affordable, furniture and eating places.

Atlantic Station looks nice. I could actually see mysely living there, which surprises me because I am very picky. There's a little lake, a Dillards, A Movie Theater, and all kinds of other things.

I wish something could be done with the 17th street bridge. It would be awesome if they redesigned it.

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Yeah they just built it and it was completed about a year and a half ago. I wish they had added more trees and plants on top of the bridge on the sidewalks. It looks too industrial for the development. I do like the dedicated bike and bus lanes they installed on the bridge! I am a big fan of the park that is in the middle of 17th Street! Also love the condos being built across form IKEA, really gives you that urban feel! Now all we need to do is fix up Northside Drive!

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After reading this and several other threads on the message boards, I have been doing a lot of thinking about where Atlanta is, and what is about to occur. First, I have to agree that we are at the dawn of a new era in this town. With the developments around Centennial Olympic Park, Atlantic Station, and the Peachtree corridor, Atlanta finally appears to have the "critical mass" to sustain further growth in town and provide for a vibrant city.

While its easy to point to this season as the turning point, we have been turning this super-freighter around for the last ten years. A lot of people want to dismiss the Olympics impact on Atlanta - that they didn't kick off the in-town resurgence that was expected. I beg to differ. I just think we had that far to come before things came all together.

First, you cannot understate how important Centennial Olympic Park and the redevelopment of Techwood Homes was to downtowns resurgence. This area was a sea of blight right in the heart of town. Conventioneers would only go directly from the GWCC/Omni/Dome area to their hotels and then on to Buckhead. The park gives people a destination, the Centennial Hill area re-dev reduces the concentrated poverty and crime from the area.

Secondly, the Olympics gave a shot in the arm to Georgia Tech. GT was already doing good things in town, but this extra push allowed Tech to grow faster and, indirectly lead to its expansion across the connector into Midtown. When I was at Tech, that area of Midtown was highlighted by abandoned buildings and lots circled with concertina wire.

What will be truly interesting is what will happen in the next five years:

* What will the beltline bring for in-town.

* What will happen North of Ivan Allen Blvd. or along Luckie Street?

* Will the Peachtree Streetcar happen?

* What about those underutilized surface lots or older low-rise buildings throughout Downtown and Midtown?

* Will the commuter rail effort get off the ground and will the MMPT be built?

* Will we see McMansions in Home Park?

* Will the redevelopment of the Northside Drive corridor get off the ground?

Personally, I can't wait!

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After reading this and several other threads on the message boards, I have been doing a lot of thinking about where Atlanta is, and what is about to occur. First, I have to agree that we are at the dawn of a new era in this town. With the developments around Centennial Olympic Park, Atlantic Station, and the Peachtree corridor, Atlanta finally appears to have the "critical mass" to sustain further growth in town and provide for a vibrant city.

While its easy to point to this season as the turning point, we have been turning this super-freighter around for the last ten years. A lot of people want to dismiss the Olympics impact on Atlanta - that they didn't kick off the in-town resurgence that was expected. I beg to differ. I just think we had that far to come before things came all together.

First, you cannot understate how important Centennial Olympic Park and the redevelopment of Techwood Homes was to downtowns resurgence. This area was a sea of blight right in the heart of town. Conventioneers would only go directly from the GWCC/Omni/Dome area to their hotels and then on to Buckhead. The park gives people a destination, the Centennial Hill area re-dev reduces the concentrated poverty and crime from the area.

Secondly, the Olympics gave a shot in the arm to Georgia Tech. GT was already doing good things in town, but this extra push allowed Tech to grow faster and, indirectly lead to its expansion across the connector into Midtown. When I was at Tech, that area of Midtown was highlighted by abandoned buildings and lots circled with concertina wire.

What will be truly interesting is what will happen in the next five years:

* What will the beltline bring for in-town.

* What will happen North of Ivan Allen Blvd. or along Luckie Street?

* Will the Peachtree Streetcar happen?

* What about those underutilized surface lots or older low-rise buildings throughout Downtown and Midtown?

* Will the commuter rail effort get off the ground and will the MMPT be built?

* Will we see McMansions in Home Park?

* Will the redevelopment of the Northside Drive corridor get off the ground?

Personally, I can't wait!

Newnan Eric

I totally agree with everything you just said and I certainly do not dismiss the impact of the Olympics or the other efforts to revitalize the city. I believe that each small step has played its part and Ive said all along the city is STILL reaping the benefits of hosting a worldwide event here. I especially do not agree with those that seem to give the aquarium all of the credit for revitalizing downtown. For one thing without the park, the aquarium probably would be at AS. The impact of the park and redeveloping those housing projects cannot be overstated.

I just felt that at this point we have, as you said, enough critical mass that it is no longer just a hope, dream or plan. Now its actually happening and there is enough momentum that development intown could even accelerate over the next five years.

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^Indeed, Martinman.

IMO, the Olympics have more of a long term effect in making our city better, one that will be realized over time, and we are just now really starting to feel and realize the Olympics' positive effect on our city. This type of development, infill, and so on doesn't exactly happen in a day, week, or year, which is probably what critics of the city's Olympic effort are looking at. Rome wasn't built in a day. :)

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I can't get over the moderness of the new Tech campus. They FINALLY made the cross over the interstate. I totally love the new urban style Barnes and Noble, Moe's, and other independent eateries that aline 14th St (I beleive that's the street). Wasn't that a ground level parking lot?

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^ No, it's 5th St. GA Tech had bought much of the property 5 to 10 years ago in preperation & announced the plan 5 years ago, the same month that I moved out of an apartment just 3 blocks away :(

Yes - it was nothing but parking lots there, & also a utilitarian structure built in the 60's.

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I visited Centennial Olympic Park for the first time this past Tuesday, and it really is hard to believe that that was once a run down area of town. I had quite a pleasant experience there and hope to return soon.

I could see the aquarium once I got off I-85 (exit 249C-Downtown) in the Ivan Allen/Marietta area. I like the design and it will do good things for that area.

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I wish something could be done with the 17th street bridge. It would be awesome if they redesigned it.

That bridge is almost like a gateway coming in to the DT/MT area from the north. It would be cool if it were a bit more decorative. Maybe having a stone/concrete overpass with lighted "ATLANTA" inscribed into it.

Anyway, it sounds like this is an exciting, pivotal time for Atlanta.

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That bridge is almost like a gateway coming in to the DT/MT area from the north. It would be cool if it were a bit more decorative. Maybe having a stone/concrete overpass with lighted "ATLANTA" inscribed into it.

Or how about the city's new hurricane-esque logo?

On second thought, people might think 17th Street is part of a hurricane evacuation route, so scratch that.

:rofl:

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I wish something could be done with the 17th street bridge. It would be awesome if they redesigned it.
If I'm not mistaken there was considerable hue and cry to make it a "signature" gateway to Atlanta, or to at least make it interesting looking. A number of people felt it was a unique opportunity to do something to ameliorate the huge freeway gash which had been cut through the heart of the city in the 1950s and expanded over the decades to its current gargantuan size. I believe there were many wonderful designs submitted, including some exciting cable-stayed and arch style bridges, and various lighting plans as well. However, after considering these proposals, the DOT opted for yet another massive concrete slab. I guess it is in keeping with the character of that area. They did concede to aesthetic considerations by permitting the steel girders to be painted a different color and allowing some benches to be poured.

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The 17th Street bridge was definately a missed opportunity. Andrea is right, there was a lot of discussion about making this bridge a signature for the city. In the end, the DOT went with this design because they felt that a unique sight could become a traffic hazard due to people admiring the new bridge or possibly stopping to take photos.

Personnaly, I thought it was a cop-out. That bridge could have been our Golden Gate. Instead we get the "Banana Split." :angry:

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I thought this should be here because I think its a sign of the major changes we are seeing in the city.

Kuhlman company which has a store in Phipps plaza, is opening a second Atlanta store at Spire.

Uniquely tailored Anglo-Italian apparel. Uncompromising quality at an uncommon value.

Masterfully crafted in Europe from the finest fabrics in the world, Kuhlman shirts and ties combine distinctive design with sumptuous fabrics, superb workmanship and meticulous attention to detail. All at a price that brings luxury to everyday

http://www.kuhlmancompany.com/about.php

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In the end, the DOT went with this design because they felt that a unique sight could become a traffic hazard due to people admiring the new bridge or possibly stopping to take photos.

Personnaly, I thought it was a cop-out.

I could not agree more, Eric. There are fabulous, fantastic bridges in great cities all over the world. We've even got one in Savannah. Yet I have never once, not one single time, ever heard of anyone, anywhere else saying, "Oh, we need to make sure this bridge is a humongous boring concrete slab so it won't be a traffic hazard."

The mind utterly boggles at such statements. Would they take down the Golden Gate, the St. Louis arch and the Lincoln Memorial because they might be distracting to motorists? Even a scaled down version of Savannah's Talmadge Bridge, the charming Key Bridge in Washington, or Tampa's Sunshine Skyway would have been magnificent.

:cry:

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Well, the 17th street bridge did drop the ball, but the 5th street bridge going into Tech will give a nice feel to the area.

As a small town guy, the thing about Atlanta that really stands out to me is that it feels small and I absolutely love that. Some people want ATL to be a New York City, but it feels right the way it is now. Atlanta is doing good things now and I hope they can keep it up

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I thought this should be here because I think its a sign of the major changes we are seeing in the city.

Kuhlman company which has a store in Phipps plaza, is opening a second Atlanta store at Spire.

http://www.kuhlmancompany.com/about.php

Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, Kuhlman is not anything special. The word is that a lot of the stores on that wing of the mall were upset that the store was there, and the store is not doing good business.

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Let's not get too far ahead of ourselves, Kuhlman is not anything special. The word is that a lot of the stores on that wing of the mall were upset that the store was there, and the store is not doing good business.

Looking at their website, I don't blame the merchants on that hall being slightly vexed. Thier clothes don't strike me as particularly upscale in nature....although the story may be a match for the midtown market, I find it a wee bit out of place at Phipps. Ummmmm, don't they also realize that women shop too. If that's all they are going to offer they might as well focus on men's clothing alone.

But as I said, it is a good match for the midtown market and I am just glad that some vital retail is coming to the Peachtree corridor. I guess you have to start somewhere. :whistling:

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Maria Saporta's view on this subject

Attractions redefine city's draw for visitors Atlanta Journal Constitution

"The fall of 2005 will go down in history as one of Atlanta's defining moments.

Ever since I can remember, Atlanta has been known as a great place to live, but a boring place to visit. The lack of a vibrant downtown coupled with beautiful - but disconnected - neighborhoods made Atlanta a city better suited for residents than for out-of-town guests.

This weekend's opening of the expanded High Museum of Art will be followed by the unveiling of the Georgia Aquarium later this month and combined with the opening of Atlantic Station, a citywide effort to brand Atlanta, and the launch of a regional initiative to promote arts and culture, Atlanta finally appears to be developing a critical mass of attractions that will sell the city to the rest of the world. "

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