Cumberland CID Blueprint & Green TOD
Project Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Completion Date: 2010
Our first engagement with major regional mall retrofits began with the State of Georgia’s first and perhaps most successful Community Improvement District, the Cumberland CID. This CID is home to Cumberland Mall, several Fortune 500 companies, and it is where over 5 percent of the entire state’s economy and 33 percent of the county’s economy is generated. While they’ve demonstrated great success in infrastructure and commercial development, the area suffered from lack of housing and regional high-capacity transit. The Cumberland area was originally planned as a sort of Corbusian dream at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 along the Chattahoochee River with 3 miles of national park space. While interesting to move through, it was not a town nor a place. Its primary elements were office parks, a mall and exhibition center, and a relatively recent additions like a world-class performing arts center.
We were commissioned to master plan the entire 3,000-acre area in the early 2000’s to attract transit connectivity and redevelopment of old strip centers into an exciting, mixed-use, urban experience. Our process demonstrated how a transit oriented mixed-use redevelopment would reinvigorate the CID’s under-utilized Akers Mill Shopping Center. Unfortunately, the Akers Mill owner later concluded they would not be willing to redevelop or sell. The project stalled, however, the seeds were sewn for well-planned future experiential redevelopment in the Cumberland CID. Within five years, the Atlanta Braves bought a nearby parcel and built a new stadium and town center called the Battery.