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Air rights procurement moves CIM Group closer to Gulch redevelopment

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The Los Angeles-based developer now has every piece of property needed to move the project forward

The overarching Gulch vision, complete with new construction aplenty.
CIM Group’s vision for the 40-acre pit is one step closer to realization.
Rendering courtesy of CIM Group; designs, Perkins + Will

Los Angeles-based developer CIM Group just snagged the last piece of property needed to launch its multi-billion-dollar redevelopment of downtown’s Gulch.

Last month, the company acquired a lease to air rights—the right to build in the airspace above a property—from Atlanta-based investment firm Cousins Properties, which had had control of the space since it developed downtown’s CNN Center in the 1970s, according to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Now, after buying Cousins’ interest for some $13 million, CIM Group has total control of the 40-acre Gulch, a crucial step toward injecting the desolate pit of parking lots and railroad tracks with up to $5 billion of new construction.

This deal also means Cousins will likely play a big role in the Gulch’s office building development.

A view of the gulch, a large parking lot, and rail lines.
A mammoth steel and concrete platform could cover the Gulch as its seen today.
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CIM Group’s plans for the property also call for 15 blocks of residences, hotel rooms, restaurants, and retail space.

Most—if not all—of that development would sit atop a $500 million platform that CIM Group would build to raise the project site up to the surrounding street level. (Active rail lines currently run at ground level.)

In November, the Atlanta City Council green-lit a massive development agreement that will allow CIM Group to use nearly $2 billion of public funding for the colossal project, a move which caught the ire of activists who believe private developments shouldn’t be publicly subsidized.