Atlanta Shopping Village Gets Second Chance To Revitalize Neighborhood

Westside Village, a failed pet project of former Atlanta mayor Bill Campbell, has been given a new lease on life through public incentives and private investment. Officials hope the revitalization of its downtrodden neighborhood will follow.

Despite being named "Mixed Use Deal of 1999" by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, Westside Village eventually "fell victim to the usual combination of Campbell-related woes -- cronyism, bureaucratic incompetence and a flagrant disregard for federal lending guidelines."

However, a new Mayor (Shirley Franklin) and a reprioritized Atlanta Development Authority have successfully jump-started the $130 million project with nearly $4 million in public financing and the rest in private money. The first 17 acres of land between an already constructed supermarket and a MARTA transit station are being cleared for the development of 60 new townhouses, to be completed before the end of the year.

City officials are betting that a completed Westside Village, coupled with $14 million in revitalization grants for private projects in and around its Vine City neighborhood, will finally bring a turn-around to one of Atlanta's most disinvested communities.

Full Story: Westside do-over

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