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The Atlanta BeltLine
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Q: What happens to the Atlanta BeltLine projects on the Transportation Referendum list?
A: Transit on the Atlanta BeltLine will still be built out as part of a larger modern streetcar/light rail network in the City of Atlanta connected to MARTA. The downtown Atlanta Streetcar, now under construction, is the first new segment of this new network. For the portions of the projects on the Atlanta BeltLine, we will use the TAD to leverage other sources of funding to complete the projects. The TSPLOST would have accelerated transit implementation by five to 10 years on the Atlanta BeltLine. Without it or other unanticipated funds, the timeline will be closer to what was originally envisioned as part of a 25-year plan.
Q: How will private development be affected?
A: Significant private development is already underway near the Atlanta BeltLine, with more than $1 billion of new development since 2005. In the Atlanta BeltLine planning area (1/2 mile on either side of the rail corridor) there are 88 developments either completed or in progress, representing 12,136 new residential units and 1,517,000 new non-residential square feet. Development activity around the Atlanta BeltLine has continued despite the economic downturn, and we expect it to increase further as the project advances.
Q: Will TAD money be enough to build the project?
A: The TAD has always been envisioned as the primary local funding source, but not the only funding source. In addition, critical environmental studies and other eligibility requirements are underway to secure more federal funding, per the original plan. We will continue to work to identify other sources, complementing the other sources we have relied on, including private dollars, other City of Atlanta capital funding and federal funds. Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has begun the work to create a plan to complete the entire project; over the coming months, ABI will engage a consultant team and work with stakeholders and the community to form an implementation plan for all aspects of the Atlanta BeltLine, including the identification of new funding sources. To date, the project has relied on the following sources, in addition to the TAD:
- $40 million raised in private donations to date
- More than $25 million from federal sources to date
- Other City capital funds from Parks, Watershed and Public Works, which have played a critical role and will continue to be important to the project
Q: When will we start seeing transit?
A: ABI continues to work with the city on a citywide Transit Implementation Strategy that will prioritize which segments of the Atlanta BeltLine will be built first, and when (pending funding). Mayor Reed, as Chair of the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Regional Transit Committee, will continue to work on the implementation of Concept 3 which includes the Atlanta BeltLine and streetcar network as well as long term financing and governance plans.
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