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Team led by Perkins+Will and James Corner Field Operations, Designer of New York’s High Line

Atlanta, GA, February 10, 2010 – Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s (ABI) Board of Directors today approved the selection of a design team led by Perkins+Will and James Corner Field Operations to design the 22-mile BeltLine Corridor. This design effort will show what the BeltLine will look like and establish the basis for all future BeltLine design and construction.

“A public space like that envisioned by the BeltLine, with pedestrian-friendly rail transit, trails, greenspace and abutting development in one corridor does not exist today in Atlanta or any other city in the United States,” said Brian Leary, President & CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “By creating a design which will integrate all of the BeltLine’s components in a comprehensive way we are building the BeltLine’s foundation.”

The selection was the result of a competitive bidding process that attracted interest from dozens of world-class firms. Perkins+Will’s team is led by Leo Alvarez, John Threadgill and Ryan Gravel, the urban designer whose graduate thesis is the basis of the BeltLine project. James Corner Field Operations recently completed the design of The High Line in New York City, one of the most innovative urban park projects in the United States.

“The eyes of the nation are on Atlanta’s BeltLine as a model for smart growth and urban redevelopment,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “The selection of this world-class team to design the BeltLine corridor is a great step forward for one of the most significant projects in our city’s history.”

As the design progresses it will help increase the BeltLine’s eligibility for federal funds and advance the permanent trail projects to the point of being “shovel ready.” The scope includes civil and structural engineering; surveys; utilities; streetscapes; landscape design; trails; transit; stations; bridges; tunnels; historic preservation; public art locations; and signage. It will define the physical boundaries of the corridor and identify engineering constraints and solutions for all elements of the BeltLine. The total contract amount is not to exceed $9.5 million. The design team includes 19 firms in total, with over 26% of the value to be delivered by various types of disadvantaged businesses.

“The BeltLine vision has expanded considerably since its inception, and now stands as a model for sustainable infrastructure strategies and public space throughout the country,” said Ryan Gravel of Perkins+Will. “First-rate design is critical to the success of the BeltLine, and Perkins+Will is honored to help Atlanta carry its vision forward as lead of the corridor design team. For me personally, clearly the BeltLine has been a passion over the last 10 years, so I am particularly excited to be a part of this process.”

“Forward-looking cities and towns all over the world are investing in parks, open space and green infrastructure. The BeltLine is one of the most original and exciting—a large-scale greenbelt that will recast the identity of Atlanta, reconnect its neighborhoods, and enrich the public life for all of Atlanta’s citizens. As with New York’s High Line, the BeltLine will bring new life and vitality to the old, derelict infrastructure of industry and railroads, retooling these infrastructures for new social and environmental purposes,” said James Corner, director of James Corner Field Operations and lead designer of the High Line in New York.

The BeltLine is already becoming a reality in many parts of the City. Four new parks, two permanent trail segments and nearly eight miles of temporary hiking trails will open in 2010, in addition the 1-mile of trail completed in the West End neighborhood in October, 2008. Events celebrating the BeltLine through temporary public art are scheduled for the spring and summer, as are numerous groundbreakings and ribbon cuttings. Down-payment assistance for affordable homes on the BeltLine is also available through the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund for eligible buyers. For more information on the BeltLine visit

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.


Ethan Davidson, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.
(404) 614-8325;

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