Invest Atlanta’s approval of the bonds was the next hurdle the project had to clear.
Two of the six board members — Fred Smith and Nancy Meister — voted against moving the Gulch project forward.
Smith said the amount of public money being used to finance the $5 billion dollar project did not match up with the benefits the public will receive.
Meister, the vice chair of the Atlanta Board of Education, said that the schools’ had been left out of the negotiating process.
“We would love to see this go through but we would also love to have a seat at the table,” Meister said.
Bottoms bristled at the comment.
“APS took a position that made it impossible to partner with them,” the mayor said.
A rendering of the $5 billion Gulch project in downtown Atlanta.
The initial plan called for extending a special taxing district known as a TAD — an area where property tax collections are frozen for a period of time, and future increases in tax collections from rising property value as the area redevelops are used to help pay for the development.
But the extension would have required approval from the Atlanta Public Schools and Fulton County.
Last month, Atlanta’s schools Superintendent Meria Carstarphen announced publicly that she wanted to renegotiate or eliminate her system’s participation in five other TADS as part of the negotiations for the Gulch.
Bottoms responded by releasing a revised plan, eliminating the proposed TAD extension.
The Gulch development will be the largest since Peachtree Center started in the 1960s. CIM proposes 18 parcels with at least nine skyscrapers of 225 feet or more in height, including one rising 500 feet or about 40 stories.
The plan also calls for 9 million square feet of office space, 1,000 residences, 1,500 hotel rooms and 1 million square feet of retail space.
Bottoms said the entire Gulch ordeal had taught her a lot, but that she was confident the city provided enough opportunity for public input into the project. She also said she would do some things differently.
"I wish that there had not been so many bumps along the way, but I think we are all better for it," she said. "For now, we are going to celebrate this win."