Thursday, August 18, 2011

Beltline wins federal cash for bike/ped bridge linking to City Hall East, er, Ponce City Market

Posted By on Thu, Aug 18, 2011 at 9:01 AM

One of the many perks that future residents and tenants of Ponce City Market — the massive building formerly known as City Hall East — will enjoy is proximity to the Atlanta Beltline. The proposed 22-mile loop of parks, trails and transit runs alongside the proposed mixed-use development. But actually connecting the building to the $2.8 billion project will require some construction work.

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced yesterday that the federal government would assist in that effort and awarded nearly $800,000 to help build a $2.7 million pedestrian and cycling bridge linking Ponce City Market to the Beltline. The grant was one of several totaling $4.8 million the feds awarded on Wednesday to Georgia. (Also on the list: $2.9 million to purchase rights-of-way to help build the second phase of Cobb County's Bob Callan Trunk Trail near the Chattahoochee River.)

The grant's also a win for Jamestown Properties, the developer that plans to invest $180 million to transform the former Sears Distribution Center and municipal building into a mixed-use complex that would include residential, commercial and retail space.

The Atlanta Development Authority and Atlanta Beltline Inc., the nonprofit entity tasked with planning and developing the greenspace and transit loop, sponsored the funding application for the bridge. A Beltline spokesman says the public investment is worth it.

"While this is a relatively small amount coming from the federal government, the private investment the developer will put into the building, and the tax increment it will generate [which helps fund construction of the Beltline] will benefit the project for decades to come," he says.

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