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Pipe Dreams Vs. Realty: Does 'The Gulch' Stand A Chance?

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Remember how wonderful it was to mind-trip through the Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal, that downtown wonderland of interconnectivity that existed in public-accessible video form for about three days? Were those baseless dreams, or the bona fide beginnings of some kind of deep-downtown resurgence? In a thorough report called "Gulch terminal: one very cool video, not much else" the AJC all but crushes the hopes of anyone pining to see the MMPT rise in the foreseeable future, while getting to the root of the Disappearing Video Mystery. Not long after the video whipped public excitement into a frenzy last month, the Georgia Department of Transportation asked FXFOWLE — the architectural firm that posted the video to tout its work on the project — to disable the link, much to the chagrin of curious intowners. A GDOT spokesperson told the AJC the department became "very aggravated" that news sites had posted the video without context, implying that the MMPT would be built and The Gulch would be saved. (Admittedly, the original post should have stressed just how bleak the funding prospects for the MMPT are — as in, not a chance in hell right now — with less ogling of the pretty hypothetical buildings. But if posting the video was a "misrepresentation," as GDOT calls it, what does that make the video itself?) In any case, GDOT told the newspaper, the more prudent strategy might be to build the MMPT in smaller increments. Mayor Kasim Reed has said, in no uncertain terms, the project is an unrealistic goal for his remaining term. He's out. But deep-pocketed others might be in.

An Atlanta Business Chronicle cover story taps the thoughts of the Atlanta Hawks leadership, who are in the early stages of brainstorming a total overhaul of Phillips Arena and the 120-acre Gulch around it. This could be the very definition of spit-balling, but Hawks officials told the ABC they could see a hotel and casino working on the site. Other ideas include a modern sports medicine complex, a sports entertainment center or a "world-class practice court."

Of course, outside of the new Atlanta Falcons coliseum, nothing could happen, too. For decades, The Gulch has managed to be a magnet for big ideas while remaining a vapid hole. This calls for an unscientific poll. Please, take a second to vote and share your optimism/pessimism for the prospects of our fair Gulch.

Poll results

· Gulch terminal: one very cool video, not much else [AJC; subscriber]
· Multi-Modal Terminal Vision Will Blow Your Mind [Curbed Atlanta]
· Hawks eye Gulch for new attraction [ABC; subscriber]
[Photos: Curbed Atlanta; rendering via FXFOWLE/Vimeo]