Friday, January 27, 2012

Study: Downtown train terminal could create additional 15,700 jobs

Posted By on Fri, Jan 27, 2012 at 3:18 PM

If built, the long-planned multimodal train terminal planned for "the Gulch," the vast expanse of concrete between Philips Arena and south downtown, would transform a once-historic area that now, sadly, is basically a parking lot.

Once the surrounding street grids and infrastructure are built, the project would be the equivalent to adding a whole new neighborhood to downtown — one that could link Castleberry Hill to south downtown and help make Atlanta's urban core more vibrant. (It's worth keeping in mind, however, that the terminal could take more than 10 years to complete. And that's after all the financing is secured, red tape is cut, and kinks are ironed out. (The Georgia Department of Transportation last year selected a consortium of developers including Cousins Properties, Integral Group, and Forest City as the terminal's master developers.)

Central Atlanta Progress, the downtown civic booster organization, today released a report it commissioned about the project's potential benefits (PDF) if built along with the Green Line, the CAP project which would link the Georgia World Congress Center and Gold Dome with greenspace and dense development. Key figures from the report are pasted after the jump.

1. Transportation User Benefits
At completion, the MMPT and its related transit investments are projected to:
* Generate 22.5 million additional annual transit trips;
* Reduce annual automobile trips by 13.4 million;
* Remove 568.1 million vehicle miles from area highways;
* Reduce the time Atlanta commuters spend in automobiles by 77.6 million hours — mostly during periods of peak congestion;
* Save truckers 7.1 million hours of travel time in and through the Atlanta Region; and
* Generate annual travel cost savings of nearly $2.2 billion to Georgia residents and businesses, including total annual cost savings to businesses of $1.1 billion and trucking cost savings of nearly $280 million.

2. Redevelopment Effects
At completion, fully implementing the MMPT and associated public amenities would:
* Increase investment in Downtown Atlanta by nearly $3.1 billion;
* Attract 8.6 million SF of additional development to the study area;
* Create/house an additional 15,700 downtown jobs;
* Produce $65 million in annual city, county and school district tax collections;
* Return approximately $6 in private redevelopment investment per $1 spent to construct the MMPT and associated surrounding public spaces and road improvements.

3. Economic Impacts
Statewide economic impacts resulting from the project, including multiplier effects, are projected to:
* Support an average of 4,750 jobs/year from construction of the MMPT, transit systems and study area redevelopment investments over a near 30-year construction period;
* Increase the State’s annual economic output by nearly $5.2 billion by 2040, including nearly $3.1 billion in “value added” or increase to Gross State Product; and
* Create nearly 39,800 permanent jobs following completion of the transit network and study area redevelopment.
* Of the total permanent jobs created statewide, approximately 22,100 jobs result from new employment activity locating in Downtown Atlanta, 6,100 jobs are supported by annual spending on the operations and maintenance of the regional transit system (including the MMPT) and 11,500 jobs are created as a result of annual travel cost savings to automobile and truck travelers

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