A Major Setback For Atlanta's Beltline Project

Atlanta's proposed transit and recreation loop using largely abandoned rail lines as a spur to economic development was dealt a damaging blow as a suburban developer backed out of plans to build condo towers along the line.

Developer Wayne Mason's "proposal never matched the city's vision for the Beltline. Mason wanted to build about 3,000 residences on five pieces of his land, including two controversial condo towers next to Piedmont Park. He planned to donate the rest of his property -- about 45 acres -- to Atlanta for the Beltline's system of trails, parks and transit."

"When Mason described his Beltline property, he talked about it being part of the transformation of Atlanta into a 24-hour city. The condo towers on Piedmont Park would offer world-class views of a gorgeous Victorian park and would be close to new boutiques, coffee shops and eateries."

"But the city's vision for the park called for Mason's land next to Piedmont to become an extension of the park. The city's master plan for all the property along the Beltline calls for shorter buildings with fewer residents than Mason said he needed to enable him to make a profit and still donate a right of way for the transit and trail system."

Mason said he is unclear what he will do with his land now that his proposed condo towers have been scrapped.

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