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Unveiled: Thought-provoking but ridiculous ‘dream Atlanta developments’

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Feast your eyes upon the Central Beltline, Centennial Park’s ATL Tower, and a pristine Gulch lake

a poorly photoshopped image of Mercedes-Benz Stadium towering over a large body of water.
Who’s ready for a dip in this idyllic Gulch Waterfront?
Images: /u/ATLdreamdev, via Reddit

The disclaimer:

“These are all dream Atlanta developments, but ones I hereby propose for someone richer than me to actually develop, as I feel they would help elevate Atlanta into being a world class city.”

So begins the manifesto of an anonymous Atlantan who wants to see some wacky—if not somewhat brilliant—ideas come to life in a few of the city’s busiest hotspots.

Identified only by the Reddit handle /u/ATLdreamdev, the digitally masked “developer” has lobbed plans—albeit vague and crudely mocked-up plans—for, among other things, a Central Beltline, a Gulch Waterfront, and an ATL Tower, which would be akin to Paris’s Eiffel Tower... sort of.

“This list is what happens when you give an incoming freshman architect major a summer assignment, bag of weed, and tell them to go crazy without any consideration to the real world feasibility,” wrote one commentor on /u/ATLdreamdev’s Reddit post.

Frankly, though, some of this dreamer’s proposals seem pretty enlightened, with good intentions.

Take, for instance, suggestions to expand SCAD’s campus, build an “Artlanta Park” near the Arts Center MARTA stop, add green space and high-rises to The Stitch project, follow up on Beltline transit promises, and grow the MARTA rail network.

And then there are ideas like this:

Meet the “Gulch Waterfront,” Atlanta’s own (imaginary) attempt at a River Street-style bar and restaurant hub to rival Savannah’s.

“The waterfront would make Mercedes-Benz Stadium similar to what the Opera House is for Sydney,” wrote the dreamer, who gave Curbed Atlanta permission to post his masterworks, nodding to Australia’s bayside music hall.

In addition to both international and local dining options, the Gulch Waterfront would boast skyscrapers, casinos—if they were legal in this universe—and perhaps Amazon’s HQ2, as well.

“Best of all, a waterfront would add life to south downtown,” the poster continued. “Couple it with proximity to multiple redevelopment projects, and it could make an amazing impact upon the neighborhood.”

The proposal also implies the Gulch Waterfront project would be built a level or two above ground, “leaving space for a future Multi-Modal Passenger Terminal, which could connect with Five Points Station to draw in a number of commuter rail lines.”

Then there’s the “ATL Tower” idea: “This tower would be Atlanta’s version of the Eiffel Tower. It can even sparkle at night on the hour like the Eiffel Tower,” according to the project’s rough outline.

The design sketches might not be pro architect-level, the creator concedes, but the red, black, and gold lettering could jump out at Atlanta sports fans. Perhaps, the dreamer continued, an Atlanta sports museum could anchor the tower.

“Maybe it can be a five-star hotel with the top of the ‘T’ as its pool area, like how the famous Marina Bay Sands in Singapore has highly elevated pools and incredible city views,” the dreamer dreamed, calling sobriety into question. “Have an observation deck in the middle of the A and a restaurant at the top of the A.”

And lest we forget /u/ATLdreamdev’s revolutionary proposition for a “Central Beltline” (shown below):