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Gateway Center awarded, future plans in the works
by Mary Cosgrove
November 06, 2012 03:27 PM | 1138 views | 0 0 comments | 21 21 recommendations | email to a friend | print
While the accolades continue to pile on for College Park’s Gateway Center, city officials are looking toward future expansion.

The Gateway Center is a mixed-use development near the Georgia International Convention Center.

“It represents a new opportunity for College Park to attract business and hospitality around the convention center that we own and operate,” College Park Economic Development Director Barbra Coffee said.

The city developed a public-private partnership with Grove Street Partners to turn undeveloped land into a mixed-use development which now houses one office building and two hotels, which represents 500 hotel rooms and 130,000 square feet of office space, Coffee said.

“It’s exciting because the office building … is now 100 percent leased and it took just over two years to get to that point, which is great in this economy,” she said.

The development itself is unique. Not only does it offer lodging for convention attendees, but the office building is connected to Hartsfield-Jackson via the Sky Train, which opened in 2009.

“If you’re an office tenant in this building, you can do business with clients within 15 minutes of getting off an international flight,” Coffee said.

Businesses that require a lot of travel, such as those in sales, would benefit from the proximity and connectivity to the airport, she said.

The city owns an additional 20 acres contiguous to the existing center, which Coffee said the hope is to develop more hospitality, commercial and even retail space.

“Growth around airports throughout the country has started to change. You’re seeing a lot more activity around international airports. You’re seeing more office, retail, hospitality and entertainment activities around the airport,” she said. “They are becoming more vibrant places than they were in decades past.”

In the more distant future for development, the city owns 200 acres north of Camp Creek Parkway, which Coffee said is immediately across from the Georgia International Convention Center. The property is formerly residential that was abandoned due to noise mitigation programs.

Coffee said the plan is to develop it similarly to the current Gateway Center.

“It’s exciting because this is really just the beginning of what we’re able to build,” she said.

The Gateway Center was recognized as a development of excellence by the Urban Land Institute, and was most recently recognized by the Atlanta Regional Commission as having exceptional merit for a public-private partnership. Coffee said for future development of the city owned acreage, a public-private partnership would be pursued.
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