Foster + Partners master site plan for Centennial Yards

Centennial Yards

One of largest urban megaprojects in the U.S. has taken a major step forward, as the Foster + Partners designed master site plan for Centennial Yards has just been approved by the city of Atlanta, bringing the 50-acre redevelopment of a large swath of Downtown Atlanta closer to fruition with next steps being individual building permits and groundbreaking.

Atlanta is the Southeast’s fastest growing city – home to a burgeoning film industry (Marvel, Tyler Perry Studios) and tech sector (with new headquarters from Google, Microsoft and others) – and Centennial Yards will bring 12 million square feet of creative office space, retail, mixed-use housing, and more to Atlanta’s downtown, applying a people-focused and walkable urban vision to a long neglected and underutilized part of the city known as “the gulch.”

An zone where the rail lines that once ran through this area and helped establish Atlanta have been largely replaced by below-grade and surface parking lots, leaving a large hole in the heart of this vibrant and diverse city. The Foster + Partners (working in conjunction with Perkins & Will) master site plan, filed over the summer and now approved by Atlanta’s City Planning Department, defines the overall vision for Centennial Yards, from soaring new towers dotting the skyline down to a more connected and pedestrianized street grid.

Designed to be continuous with the surrounding city blocks and neighborhoods, the plan provides increased walkability and access, and is designed to blend with adjacent communities in style and scale. The pedestrianized routes, shared surfaces and landscaped plazas form a vibrant public realm that can accommodate a broad range of experiences and opportunities, while providing outdoor gathering spaces for all Atlantans.

Centennial Yards is one of the largest sports and entertainment-anchored developments in the country, surrounded by the region’s top attractions, including the Atlanta Hawks’ State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium — home to the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United — on the east, as well as MARTA stations connecting the site with the rest of the city.

By design, the plan seeks to complement these cultural magnets with a series of people-focused spaces and walkable urban blocks that can house a variety of functions from office buildings and hotels to essential retail and residential apartments for a mix of incomes. The Centennial Yards Company serves as the master assembler and developer of Centennial Yards, and is a partnership between an affiliate of CIM Group and a group led by Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler. Source by Centennial Yards Company and images Courtesy of M18 Public Relations.

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