Mayor Kasim Reed unveiled plans today for the $48 million Grant Park Gateway Project, a new underground parking and mobility facility which will be located at the site of the existing eight-acre surface parking lot, adjacent to Zoo Atlanta on Boulevard Avenue. The new facility will feature a park on the roof with green infrastructure elements and a restaurant highlighting regional cuisine, while providing approximately 1,000 parking spaces.

During a press conference, Mayor Reed was joined by Department of Parks and Recreation Commissioner Amy Phuong, Atlanta City Councilmember Carla Smith, Zoo Atlanta President Raymond King, Atlanta History Center Board Chair Ernest Greer, Grant Park Conservancy Executive Director Michelle Blackmon, State Representative David Dreyer, the Grant Park Neighborhood Association and the Winter Johnson Group, where he showcased the renderings to the public for the first time.

“The Grant Park Gateway will be the first facility of its kind in the City of Atlanta, and earned its name because it provides an entirely new way of looking at the entrance to the community,” said Mayor Reed. “The design benefits the Grant Park neighborhood and respects its history as Atlanta’s oldest park, while addressing parking demands, reducing traffic congestion and improving the overall safety in the area.”

Other proposed features for the future LEED-certified facility includes planted vegetation which will reduce storm water run-off and improve air quality; an intelligent parking system aimed at helping guide patrons find vacant spots; and state-of-the-art surveillance cameras to promote safety. The Department of Parks and Recreation will host community meetings in the upcoming months to solicit additional ideas and concerns from residents as they move forward with the planning of the project.

“The Department of Parks and Recreation is excited about this project, which speaks volumes about how innovative the City of Atlanta has become with developing greenspace expansion, watershed management and mobility solutions,” said Amy Phuong, Commissioner of the department. “We will continue to actively engage with the Grant Park Conservancy, the Grant Park Neighborhood Association and community members to create a parking facility and greenspace that will serve as a source of pride for the greater community for years to come.”

The overall project will complement the Zoo’s “Grand New View” project which aims to repurpose the former Cyclorama building to a multi-use, special events facility and expand their entry plaza to the Boulevard entrance.

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.