Downtown Freeway Overlay Park Concept Launches (Helpful) Website

Another sign of progress is the initiative to cover a 3/4 mile section of the downtown connector with green spaces, plazas, and more. launched an official website as a one-stop-shop for visuals, background, and upcoming updates.

After a $1.16 million raise for Stitch’s engineering work from federal coffers last month, Central Atlanta Progress announced this week that the website – thestitchatl.com – is live. It includes information and visuals about the historical context of the site, the latest renderings and a digestible FAQ section on how the 14-acre project would mend “a torn fabric” that has been around for centuries.eways cut the city center almost 70 years ago.

Stitch’s vision plan subdivides the downtown park concept into a chain of distinct new spaces, as illustrated on the website.

The Energy Green section rich in green spaces. Atlanta Center Progress; thestitchatl.com

These would be called Peachtree Park (an active green space serving as a magnet for adjacent development); Hospital Square (an urban plaza surrounded by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church to the east and the MARTA Civic Center station to the west); and Energy Park (described as the leafy “front yard” of Stitch, it would act as a kind of subpoint connecting nearby hotels to the Georgia Power headquarters and Civic Center redevelopment site.)

According to the website, the cost of all Stitch sections has soared to $713 million, although this is subject to change as the engineering and design phases are modified and finalized in the coming years.


Vision for the hospital square. Atlanta Center Progress; thestitchatl.com

Central Atlanta Progress, which has spearheaded Stitch since its inception, estimates the project could take a decade to fully build and open on the connector, near where the north blocks of downtown meet Midtown. Construction could begin by 2026, with completion estimated no earlier than 2032, according to the website. (Previous estimates called for construction to begin at least a year earlier.)

So far, the city, the Downtown Atlanta Improvement District and federal government officials have funneled approximately $15 million to make the Stitch a reality. Other potential funding sources could include philanthropy and mechanisms such as tax allocation districts.


Atlanta Center Progress; thestitchatl.com

The point, if fully realized, would be almost as large as 16 acres Rodney Cook Father Park, which opened last year in Vine City, opposite downtown. It is one of three major proposals for covering the city’s freeways currently in fundraising mode. The others are in Buckhead HUB404 and by far the biggest, the Downtown Connector.

As Stitch’s new website indicates, it’s difficult to pin down an exact schedule and cost at such an early stage, because “[p]projects of this scope and scale are a once-in-a-generation opportunity.


The estimated timeline of the project, for now. Atlanta Center Progress; thestitchatl.com

• Poll: do you think the “point” of the city center freeways will happen? (Urbanize Atlanta)

About Jean R. Manzer

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