A rendering of The Stitch.

A “world-class park” could be the first phase of The Stitch, a proposed $452 million project that would cap the Downtown Connector.

First proposed in 2016, The Stitch envisions capping the Downtown Connector by constructing a ¾-mile platform over the interstate, extending from the Civic Center MARTA station at West Peachtree Street to Piedmont Avenue. On top of the platform, which would create around 14 acres of new buildable space, would be the recommended five acre park, homes, office buildings, hotels and more.

The Urban Land Institute presented its findings at a panel discussion on Friday morning at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. ULI and the city have been evaluating the project for 12 months, but representatives spent this week in the city get an up-close look at the area and talking with stakeholders.

The Stitch is also envisioned as the “belly-button,” as one panelist described it, of a possible connection to the Atlanta BeltLine. Another part of the plan was to improve streets that surround The Stitch area, including Ralph McGill Boulevard, which could be a gateway street to The Stitch, and envisioning development opportunities around the Civic Center MARTA station.

The project could be paid for from taxes collection in a tax allocation district (TAD), bonds, state and federal grants, funds from the city, foundation support, and public/private partnerships.

Officials said building The Stitch would require around four years of pre-development and six-years to buildout.

You can watch the entire presentation on The Stitch at the Atlanta Downtown Facebook page.

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.