James March-April 2023 web - Flipbook - Page 53
ommunity Improvement Districts
(CIDs) have been around in Georgia
since the 1980s and are one of many
tools to redevelop old or abandoned
commercial centers into revitalized communities. A
CID is a defined geographic area where a majority of
commercial property owners join to pay extra property
taxes to fund public improvements. After all, improved
infrastructure and amenities are more attractive to businesses and help grow the economy.
Metro Atlanta has CIDs across the entire region and
in nearly every county. Some are in the heart of Atlanta;
some are in the older suburbs— job centers that sprouted in the 1960s and 70s but had grown stale by the 80s
and 90s and have since been revitalized thanks to the
CIDs and accompanying growth.
This piece highlights the work of several of these
CIDs. And we’ll be reporting on others in future issues.
decorative crosswalks, gateway signage, streetlights and
ADA ramps. Now, Boulevard CID has some 50 million
square feet of industrial space, with a 97 percent occupancy rate. And it is home to more than 28,000 jobs.
“Fulton County also has a “Renew the District” initiative to invest millions into the Fulton Industrial District over the next ten years— especially in the Fulton
County Airport,” Prado reminds me. This also includes
continued on page 54
This area is located on the thin slice of Fulton Industrial Boulevard, the last stretch of Fulton County overseen by the County Commission. For decades it was
indeed a very “industrial” boulevard. Retail or pedestrian activity would have been unthinkable or very out
of place. It was mostly truck traffic, with easy access to
the interstate and airport. But that’s changing.
Gil Prado, the executive director for 11 years, has
received many honors for his work. Last year he was
recognized by the South Metro Development Outlook
Conference as the “Economic Developer of the Year.”
A main reason for that honor is that the Boulevard CID
committed to an incremental turnaround. It focused
first on public safety and, giving some credence to the
“Broken Window Theory”— weekly landscaping maintenance and litter removal. In 2018, TSPLOST funds were
used by the CID for construction on $2 million in public
improvements, including new streetscapes, sidewalks,
Since 2010, the Fulton Industrial CID has led the way in revitalizing
the largest industrial corridor in the eastern United States. Through
transportation improvements, public safety and beautification
initiatives, we keep business moving.
MARC H/AP R I L 2023