A spokesman for CIM said the deal “is an integral component in our strategy to rebuild the downtown neighborhood into a dynamic, vibrant and connected community. We are excited to be part of the Atlanta family and look forward to working closely with our neighbors to make downtown an example of Atlanta’s vision for the future.”
Rendering of the $5 billion Gulch project.
CIM has proposed office towers, 1,000 residences, 1,500 hotel rooms and a regional mall’s worth of retail space on a daunting site that has generated little development interest for decades.
The land is crisscrossed by active rail lines and sits some 40 feet below surrounding viaducts. To make development feasible, CIM plans a massive $500 million steel and concrete platform to raise the site to viaduct level and create some 15 blocks of developable property.
In November, Atlanta City Council approved an up to $1.9 billion public financing package for the up to $5 billion downtown development.
In January, Atlanta Public Schools ended a long-simmering dispute with the city over the Gulch, agreeing to use future school property taxes generated by the new development to help fund the project. A legal challenge from a citizen coalition to bonds that will help finance the project is pending.
As part of the Gulch transaction, Cousins could become a partner in the Gulch development. In a news release, Cousins said it retains rights to develop office space within the project site.
A message left for Cousins executives was not immediately returned.