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Georgia World Congress Center’s pedestrian mall project enters bid selection stage

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State officials will now choose development team to tackle the project’s $13 million first phase

A rendering of the mall
An early rendering shows the pedestrian-focused orientation that GWCC officials are hoping for.
Renderings: Georgia World Congress Center Authority

A monumental overhaul proposed for the Georgia World Congress Center’s front stoop took a significant step forward Wednesday, as state officials closed bidding and kicked off deliberations over which development team will get to begin the transformation.

In October, state officials began shopping for a firm to design and build the first phase of what will grow into a $36 million pedestrian-focused revamp of the entry plaza at the downtown convention center.

A handful of prominent developers and architects have tossed hats into the ring, vying for the GWCC contract; just five made it to the Georgia State Financing and Investment Commission’s shortlist, officials tell Curbed Atlanta.

The remaining competitors are the Manhattan Construction Company, H.J. Russell, the Holder Construction Group, Skanska USA Building, and the Winter Construction Group.

The project, expected to woo more conventioneers and tourists to downtown, would be split into two phases; the first of which would be a $13 million effort to reimagine a part of Andrew Young International Boulevard as a more walkable corridor.

The second phase would relocate the GWCC’s bus pick-up and drop-off points to the top of a new plaza space, as well as build a ramp linking Centennial Olympic Park Drive to the Red Deck parking area, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

During the pitching stage, Manhattan teamed up with architects HGOR, the firm behind the public areas of The Battery at SunTrust Park, the green roof at NCR’s new Midtown headquarters, and the masterplan for Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry.

Holder happens to the the firm charged with carrying out the $55 million expansion of the GWCC, which will bring the total convention space footprint to around 1.5 million square feet. (That project is anticipated to wrap by the end of 2019.)

Skanska is known for recently replacing the sign on downtown’s former Equitable Building with a 174-foot-long light board for the tower’s new primary tenant, Georgia’s Own Credit Union.

Winter Construction is the general contractor for developer Lucror Resources’s $70 million build planned near Edgewood Avenue in Old Fourth Ward, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

And longstanding Atlanta development group H.J. Russell, responsible for a proposed transit-oriented development project near the King Memorial MARTA Station among many other projects, lately has lobbied to move the Gulch project forward, according to Bisnow.

Additionally, a section of the GWCC site of the former Georgia Dome is slated to host the rise of a new Signia Hilton hotel concept, with roughly 1,000 rooms and 30 floors, according to the ABC. (What Now Atlanta has renderings that aren’t behind a paywall).

So the entire GWCC campus, should plans come to fruition, could look quite different in coming years.