Speculation that Atlanta’s annual New Year’s Eve celebration would move from Underground Atlanta to Woodruff Park was confirmed Wednesday.
The city of Atlanta told Channel 2 Action News that this year the annual event will move to the central city park, a few blocks north of Underground.
For 28 years the city has hosted an all-day party each New Year’s Eve at Underground, featuring bands, food, confetti, and the ceremonial lowering of the 800-pound Peach from a tower above the plaza. The traditional New Year’s Eve celebration has often attracted more than 100,000 people, according to PeachDrop.com.
Expectations that the event would make a move were ramped up with the sale this spring of Underground Atlanta to the South Carolina firm WRS Real Estate Investments. The sale had been announced two years ago, but was postponed due to complications, including questions about easements from MARTA and railroad companies.
Plans for the purported $300 million overhaul of Underground would turn it into a live-work-play community with apartments and a grocery store. WRS paid $34.6 million for the money-losing mall including 12 acres of land. The sale of Underground occurred in a year that also saw the sale of two dozen downtown properties to a German developer, Newport Holding GmbH, raising the prospect of a revitalized downtown south of Marietta Street.
“The Gulch,” the area behind Marietta Street, best known as tailgate-central during Falcon’s games, has also been offered as a possible locale for Amazon’s new satellite headquarters, in plans proposed by the state of Georgia.
The Peach Drop has undergone a few changes over the years, including the version in 2014, when the giant peach shared space on the tower above Underground with an even-more-giant replica of a peanut M&M.
A city spokesperson told WSB the city would release specific plans for entertainment and security at the Woodruff Park event some time this week.