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In Atlanta's Downtown Crescent, Positive Changes Abound

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Like the sweeping curve of the Mississippi River around New Orleans, the Grady Curve cups downtown Atlanta in a distinctive crescent shape — though admittedly in a far less lovely manner. While currently filled with many parking lots and buildings in need of serious upgrades, the area is quickly changing as investment pours in, thanks in large part to Georgia State University. Proximity to the new streetcar line isn't hurting either, and just last week the Sheraton Atlanta announced a major renovation and addition of 43 new suites to the hotel (see the rendering after the jump). With 763 hotel rooms, the property is one of the premiere hotels in the city, and the updated look is an indication that things are going well in Atlanta for the high-end hotel industry. But it's not the only project in the neighborhood.

· GSU has been a major catalyst for change downtown. And the trend continues, as earlier this year an old office building and parking lot were prepped for a new dormitory building for the school.

· The tower of Big Bethel is a prominent Atlanta fixture, proclaiming "Jesus Saves" to countless passing motorist on The Connector. But soon the site could be surrounded by some $650 million of mixed-use spaces as the church works with a developer to reincarnate surrounding parking lots.

· The developer of Krog Street Market is hoping to cash in on a brewing downtown rental craze with the conversion of a 20-story office tower to 300 residential units. Currently under construction, 250 Piedmont was sold for $8.1 million last year and could net a major ROI if downtown living takes off.

· First proposed last year, the Deuce Hotel is envisioned as a transformation of a tired 1960s office block into a sexy new hotel. The design is by local firm plexus r+d, but no word on when or if this will get off the ground.

Georgia State University

33 Gilmer Street SW, Atlanta, GA 30303 404 413 2000 Visit Website