Sustainable development should encompass living, working, and playing through a compact urban footprint that prioritizes safety, mobility and community. This is a simple recipe for creating places that have character and contribute to a healthier planet, but our auto-centric, individualist culture has necessitated the growth of modern cities in a less compact and less healthy pattern. My summer project, through Hill International, has been to work on a project that is reinventing the "normal" development pattern in one of the most traditionally sprawling cities in the world - Atlanta, GA.
The project, called "The Gateway Center", is a visionary mixed-use, transit oriented development brought to Atlanta by a group of local developers called Grove Street Partners. Upon build-out, the $230 million project will encompass 1.1 million square feet of retail, restaurant, office, and hotel space directly connected to Atlanta's MARTA system of trains and buses as well as the Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. While primarily targeting professionals and travelers, the development's uber-connectivity makes it possible to realize a serious carbon footprint reduction for all those who work and stay at the site. It is a cool experience to come to work every day and see the project going up around me.
My particular assignment is to the program management team for the GICC Marriott. This $140 million hotel will include 403 rooms, a conference center, a full service restaurant, and an exclusive concierge lounge for the professional traveler. The design and construction team has spared no expense at making this the most beautiful hotel project at the Hartsfield Jackson Airport to-date, not to mention it is tracking LEED Gold certification! If you are ever flying to Atlanta for a conference, or if your business is thinking renting office space in the area, the Gateway Center is the most convenient, most sustainable place to be.
More info on Grove Street Partners and the Gateway Center can be found here: