Walk in any direction in downtown Atlanta, and you’ll see that our community is not only surviving a down economy – we are thriving. As compared to other times in our history, we are well-positioned for growth and success during the next decade.
Our business district lacks the vacant skyscrapers and storefronts found in other major metropolitan areas, and we have made the best of our assets through smart investments. As our country begins to emerge from the grip of an uncertain economy, Atlanta is leading the way with innovative projects that will further position our city as a magnet for growth and development.
In our first decade of existence, Central Atlanta Progress, or CAP, was then known as the Central Atlanta Improvement Association, and it saw Atlanta transform itself into a transportation hub with Delta Air Lines and the development of a downtown freeway system.
Today, we are capitalizing on our transportation assets with the addition of the Atlanta Streetcar and Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal. Both of these projects hearken to our city’s earlier days, when Atlanta’s avenues teemed with streetcars and the city created a unified railroad passenger terminal. The MMPT will be the center of existing and prospective transportation in Atlanta, including light rail, buses, streetcars and whatever else our city can dream up. With public and private partnerships backing this endeavor, the MMPT sets the stage for a new generation of evolution in downtown Atlanta and the surrounding communities.
Making Atlanta a coveted destination for business owners isn’t a new concept for our organization; it’s firmly ingrained in our DNA and how we go about our day-to-day tasks. Our goal of continual improvement for business owners and residents is steadfast, and it permeates everything that we do. Success comes through collaboration, and that is evident in our GeorgiaForward initiative. Working to connect Georgia’s government, business, education and community leaders on one accord, the CAP-backed organization exemplifies how we work to bring about positive change in a nonpartisan setting. Finding common ground for statewide improvement is one of our top priorities, and we are energized by the opportunities that GeorgiaForward presents to the business community.
In the next few years, downtown residents, business owners and visitors will reap the benefits of many years of planning. The forthcoming National Center for Civil & Human Rights and the College Football Hall of Fame will be welcome additions to an already booming business district. Our aquarium — the largest in the world — recently added an 84,000-square-foot expansion and new bottlenose dolphin residents. Pair that with our many streetscape improvements and beautification projects, and it’s evident that downtown Atlanta is a district primed for even more greatness. Our early leaders laid the groundwork for our success, and we intend to continue that legacy with sustainable investments.
CAP has a proud, decades-long legacy of being a conduit for collaboration within the business community. Whether it’s planting flower baskets or initiating transportation improvement projects as a long-term investment, CAP is continually making downtown Atlanta a viable community. For 70 years, CAP has championed innovative, intelligent and economically sound investments that are still a point of pride today. Since our earliest days, our organization has had the visionary leadership and structure that makes progress happen.
Come and discover why more than 200 businesses and organizations are joint investors in the future of Atlanta as members of CAP. If this interests you, you can join us today and become more involved with the Atlanta business community with programs and services designed to promote and unify the region toward a common goal of creating a thriving, 24/7 downtown for the city’s diverse population.
A.J. Robinson is president of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. CAP remains one of the most effective advocacy organizations in the city. He formerly worked as president of Portman Holdings. During his 22-year career there, various projects included property and asset management of SunTrust Plaza, a $400 million multi-use urban development in downtown Atlanta and Shanghai Centre, a $200 million multi-use facility in downtown Shanghai. To contact Robinson or for details about membership, visit www.atlantadowntown.com or call (404) 658-1877.