Much is happening in Atlanta's development universe — a realization that seems to have suddenly dawned on everyone but the city's most vocal boosters. Consider: the Beltline, the Streetcar, the Stadium, Ponce City Market, two prime tourist attractions, Buckhead Atlanta, boundless life-injecting apartment projects — the list goes on. It's enough to make the Atlanta Business Chronicle wonder, in a recent write-up, if Atlanta "might be poised over the next decade for an era of urban reinvestment that rivals the early 2000s, and perhaps even the Olympics." But no one, to our knowledge, has vocalized the city's reborn, youth-driven chutzpah as eloquently as a wizened old developer.
Blaine Kelley Jr., head of The Landmarks Group, has logged decades in Atlanta real estate development and built the Perimeter's "King" and "Queen" towers in the 1980s. In an interview with the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Kelley waxed positive about the prospects of Atlanta's urban renewal, offering this:
"Looking forward, there is a new kind of vitality and momentum. It is the vitality of a fast growing, younger aged and international grounded population. If you want proof of this, visit Piedmont Park or walk the Beltline on a sunny Sunday afternoon. You will witness an astonishing new kind of Atlanta not seen just 15 years ago. This energetic, ambitious, multicultural generation of newer Atlantans will bring a new round of boundless vitality, the effect of which is yet to be measured, but not to be underestimated."
Now, Kelley tempers his rosy outlook by acknowledging that Atlantans can "be so carried away with their city's promise that all too often we have overreached and overbuilt, mesmerized by the conviction that 'Atlanta is too good to fail.'"
What say you? Is Kelley's view too idealistic? Or is it the sort of self-promotional verve that Atlanta needs more of?
· Developer: Atlanta has "new vitality and momentum" [Atlanta Business Chronicle]
· Report: Some Atlanta 'Millennials' Prefer Suburbia [Curbed Atlanta]