Colorado firm to update Centennial Olympic Park

A Colorado architectural firm has been hired to help the Georgia World Congress Center re-imagine Centennial Olympic Park.

DJT Design, which has offices in Atlanta, beat out eight other firms for the job, which includes designing more green space for the 21-acre downtown park and re-configuring the layout.

The GWCC’s board approved the selection Tuesday. The next step is to begin contract negotiations, including determining how much DTJ will be paid, said GWCC spokeswoman Jennifer LeMaster.

DTJ has designed residential communities, golf courses and mixed-used developments, including projects for Hard Rock Hotels and Atlas Center at the University of Colorado at Boulder. Several members of the company previously worked on Centennial Olympic projects at different firms, the GWCC said.

Officials with the nation’s fourth largest convention center are planning a $25 million expansion of the park, which has become a linchpin in Atlanta’s efforts to improve the city’s appeal to tourists and conventioneers.

In March, the GWCC closed on a deal to buy the Metro Atlanta Chamber building beside the park for $10.5 million. Officials plan to demolish the building to open up views of the College Football Hall of Fame and the convention center across the street.

The park plan also includes opening a restaurant, adding more space for concerts and festivals and upgrading water features.

Project funding includes promised donations of $10 million from the Woodruff Foundation and $1 million from Coca-Cola.

The GWCC also is raising money through a relaunch of the “Adopt-A-Brick” program that helped pay for the original park for the 1996 Summer Olympics.