Cooperatove Conservation Project

Atlantic Station Redevelopment

Using Smart Growth Strategies to Lower Emissions

Location: Southeastern Region: Georgia

Project Summary: Innovative Smart Growth practices alleviate air pollution and foster development that combats sprawl and supports economic development.
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Old steel presses have been preserved as outdoor sculptures in the Commons Park overlooking the lake and new townhouses
Resource Challenge
Atlantic Station occupies land formerly used by Atlantic Steel  Industries, Inc., the fi rst steel mill in Georgia. During its prime,  Atlantic Steel was Georgia’s largest employer, but by 1998 the mill maintained only skeletal operations. What remained was largely an  abandoned 138-acre brownfield in the heart of the rapidly growing City of Atlanta.
Jacoby Development, Inc., in a joint venture with AIG Global Real  Estate Investment Corp., worked closely with federal, state, and  public interests to clean up and convert the property into Atlantic  Station, a $2 billion redevelopment project. Challenges included  removing contaminated soils, separating sanitary and storm sewer systems, reducing auto emissions, and creating jobs and economic vitality around existing infrastructure.  
Examples of Key Partners
Atlantic Steel Industries, Inc., Jacoby Development, Inc., State of Georgia, City of Atlanta, U.S. Environmental Protection  Agency (EPA), Federal Highway Administration, Federal Transit  Administration, Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority, Atlanta  Regional Commission, Midtown Alliance (local business interests),  neighborhood organizations, and others. 
Results and Accomplishments
Because Atlanta was not in compliance with Clear Air Act standards at the time, development of the brownfield site came to a halt. A  standard interpretation of the regulations would have prohibited the building  of new roads, which made it impossible to construct a bridge to  reconnect the isolated brownfield site to Midtown Atlanta, as well as to nearby public transit and the adjacent interstate highway. This obstacle was removed after an EPA analysis showed that the smart growth aspects of the redevelopment—encouraging development in the City and providing better access to mass transit—would reduce vehicle miles traveled and total air pollution, among other environmental benefits.
Collaborative problem-solving and innovative thinking have revived the area, with new residents and businesses coming into the city instead of fleeing to the suburbs.
Other accomplishments include:
  • Created 5,000 homes, from single family dwellings to loft apartments and condominiums.
  • Created employment opportunities for 30,000 people. 
  • Stimulated development that will eventually include 12 million square feet of retail, office, residential, and hotel space and 11acres of public parks.
  • Developed an incentive program that includes access to electric vehicles and discounted rates for using mass transit.
The first residential structures were leased in 2003. The first commercial, retail, and entertainment establishments opened in 2004; additional retail locations will open in late 2005. The project was awarded the national 2004 Phoenix Award for excellence in brownfield redevelopment.

By identifying and using smart growth development strategies in the City, partners were able to minimize pollution and produce air quality benefits, overcoming regulatory barriers to infrastructure changes.

Project Contact
Brian Leary
Vice President, Design & Development
Atlantic Station, LLC



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