A birds-eye view of The Gulch project, which sits adjacent to State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. (Courtesy CIM Group)

After another marathon public comment session from residents and community leaders mostly opposed to the project, the Atlanta City Council took no action on the controversial Gulch development at its Oct. 15 meeting.

During more than two-hours of public comment, many residents urged the council to “Redlight the Gulch” – a rebuttal of the campaign by Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and Central Atlanta Progress to  “Greenlight the Gulch.” LA-based CIM Group’s $5 billion plan to transform the 40 acres adjacent to Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena into a massive mixed-use development hinges on public financing upwards of $1.75 billion.

The council indicated that it needed more time to review an amended Gulch proposal submitted by the mayor’s office after new talks with CIM Group. The new proposal would eliminate the planned 10-year extension of the Westside Tax Allocation District (TAD). The TAD was created in the 1990s and allows local government to freeze property tax collections at current levels for a period of time and use future expected increases in property values over many years to fund infrastructure and other improvements in the district.

CIM Group’s development would benefit from TAD financing of infrastructure improvements. Without the extension, the Westside TAD will expire in 2038.

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.