Atlanta BeltLine reaches almost 50% land ownership with new purchase from Georgia DOT!

Great news from the Atlanta BeltLine this week! Atlanta’s ambitious project to ring Atlanta with 22 miles of transit, 33 miles of trails, and an “emerald necklace” of parks has taken another leap forward. The Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has arranged to purchase almost 4 miles of right-of-way (ROW) of abandonded rail corridor from the Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) this week. Read the full press release below!

For Immediate Release, July 9, 2009

Contact: Ethan Davidson, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
(404) 614-8325, edavidson@atlbeltline.org  

Crystal Paulk-Buchanan, Georgia Department of Transportation
(404) 631-1835 

GEORGIA DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION AND ATLANTA BELTLINE, INC. REACH AGREEMENT ON EXCLUSIVE RIGHTS TO PURCHASE LAND IN SOUTHWEST AND SOUTHEAST CORRIDORS FOR BELTLINE

Agreements Advance BeltLine Transit and Trails

Atlanta, GA – Georgia Department of Transportation (GDOT) Commissioner Vance Smith, Jr., and Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) President and CEO Terri Montague today announced entering into a purchase option agreement that, if exercised, would give the BeltLine control of the Southwest and a portion of the Southeast Right of Way (ROW). The agreement gives the City the option to acquire all of the remaining GDOT ROW along the BeltLine Corridor as contemplated in the Five Year Work Plan. Under the terms of the agreement, GDOT will give ABI exclusive rights to purchase the property until June 30, 2012. In the meantime, ABI has secured a lease of the property in order to begin preparing it for public use in the coming years.

The BeltLine Five Year Work Plan called for acquiring 35 to 37 percent of the 22 mile BeltLine ROW by July 2011. Through this agreement, 48 percent of the corridor is now secure for use by the BeltLine. ABI completed the purchase of the 4.6 mile Northeast corridor in October, 2008.

 ”We are extremely pleased to participate in a project that will advance transit and mobility options in the city and the region,” Smith said.

“This is a great milestone for the BeltLine. I am extremely grateful to the board and staff of the Georgia Department of Transportation for making this BeltLine transaction a priority,” said Terri Montague, President and CEO of ABI. “By securing the Southwest corridor and a portion of the Southeast corridor, the BeltLine is now ahead of schedule on Right of Way acquisition, and controls close to 50 percent of the BeltLine corridor. This agreement will allow ABI to continue transit and trail planning activities and open parts of the corridor up to the public within the next year.”

The segments of ROW in this transaction run from Allene Avenue to Lena Street in the Southwest (3.12 miles) and from Wylie Street to Memorial Drive in the Southeast (.36 miles). Both former freight rail lines are unused and have been granted abandonment by the federal Surface Transportation Board, which will allow ABI to proceed with planning and implementation of transit and trails for these segments. At this time, ABI is partnering with MARTA to complete and Environmental Impact Statement by summer 2010 that will help to determine how the optioned property would ultimately be used for transit and trails.

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About the BeltLine:

The Atlanta BeltLine is a $2.8 billion redevelopment project that will shape the way Atlanta grows over the next 25 years and beyond.  The project provides a network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a historic 22-mile railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other. The BeltLine is the most comprehensive economic development effort ever undertaken in the City of Atlanta and among the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment projects currently underway in the United States. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI), formed by the Atlanta Development Authority, is the entity tasked with planning and executing the implementation of the BeltLine in partnership with other public and private organizations, including City of Atlanta departments. For more information about the BeltLine, please visit www.BeltLine.org.

About the Georgia Department of Transportation:

The Georgia Department of Transportation is committed to providing a safe, seamless and sustainable transportation system that supports Georgia’s economy and is sensitive to both its citizens and its environment.  For general information on the Georgia DOT, please visit our Web site (www.dot.ga.gov).

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