Developer says Centennial Yards will ‘breathe new life’ into downtown Atlanta

ATLANTA — New life is coming to the gulch. The big hole in downtown Atlanta is being converted into what will be known as Centennial Yards.

Channel 2′s Dave Huddleston got exclusive access Monday to images of how the area will look once it’s completed.

In the next couple of months, you will start to see some major developments happening there.

“This year is going to be an exciting year. I think this is the year people have been waiting for,” Centennial Yards Company President Brian McGowan said.

[PHOTOS: Renderings of Centennial Yards project in downtown Atlanta]

The 50-acre downtown live-work-play development will be built next to State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium.

One apartment complex that is part of Centennial Yards is already finished with more than 150 people living there. It sold out in 45 days.

“I think there was this notion that people didn’t want to live downtown because it wasn’t safe, or there were no amenities or supermarkets or coffee shops. That proved that wrong,” McGowan said.

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Crews are also repairing 100-year-old sewer lines.

McGowan said in 10 years the area will be filled with office space, restaurants, shopping and housing.

But Atlanta already is a city where it’s hard to find an affordable place to live, so what’s being done to make sure Centennial Yards is open to everyone?

“We’ve committed to 20% of all the units we build will be affordable for 99 years,” McGowan said. “This is going to breathe new life to downtown. Downtown Atlanta has been, I believe, hampered from revitalization because of this big hole in the ground kind of preventive from neighbors being connected and stitched together, so this is going to transform the city.”

McGowan says there will be 3,000-5,000 apartment units in the developments and two MARTA stops that will take you straight to the airport.

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