Developer hopes to lure Amazon with downtown Atlanta plan

by Rincey Abraham

A Los Angeles-based developer is looking to transform downtown Atlanta in an attempt to woo Amazon to the city for its highly coveted second headquarters.

CIM Group is looking to build more than 9 million square feet of office space, 1,000 residences, 1,500 hotel rooms and 1 million square feet of retail space across 27 acres in downtown Atlanta’s Gulch the Atlanta Journal Constitution (AJC) reports. Amazon is looking for 8 million square feet of office space by 2027, and CIM’s timeline for its project plans for a 2027 opening.

According to documents filed with the Atlanta Regional Commission, CIM is looking to break the Gulch into 18 parcels with at least nine skyscrapers reaching a minimum of 225 feet, including one that will be 500 feet, or about 40 stories.

“I think it’s time has come,” Central Atlanta Progress President and CEO A.J. Robinson said to the AJC. “It’s aspirational. It’s a bet on Atlanta. It’s a bet the urbanization of Atlanta, and the movement back (into the city), leads to a whole new way for people to view the central core. In some ways, it’s back to the future.”

The project also includes enhancements to the Five Points MARTA station, including new entryways and an update of the one that serves Philips Arena and CNN Center.

While the area could allow for more than 32,000 parking spaces, the plan only has 8,000 parking spaces in decks below ground. The Nov. 20 filing notes notes that the proposal for automobile parking in the development “is dramatically less than the maximum allowed and is reflective of the Applicant’s desire to encourage the reduction of vehicle trips and dependency on cars, thus resulting in an urban environment that promotes strong transit ridership and investment in alternative modes of transportation.”

A City of Atlanta zoning committee is expected to meet this week to review the proposed plan.