ATLANTA - In his final days as Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed has announced that Piedmont Park is expanding.
The mayor said on Friday it is one of the largest expansions in the park’s history.
The area is Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive. The $100 million expansion will impact Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
Reed said the project will be a new gateway to the park, fundamentally transforming it.
“This is not the largest addition to Piedmont Park, yet, but I think It’s going to be the most consequential in the long term,” Reed said.
The mayor gave a special shout out to the city’s chief operating officer, Dan Gordon, for securing the final piece of the funding.
“When we’re trying to attract the big events and the big companies, they look for things like this, and we’re not interested in being number two. We’re interested in being number one,” Gordon said.
That’s a mantra Reed has always maintained.
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“We have a moment that we think is just not going to come again because of the escalating property values," Reed said. "If we don’t expand Piedmont Park and the Atlanta Botanical Garden right now, we don’t think we’re going to get another chance."
The announcement comes a week after Invest Atlanta voted to move forward with a high-density hotel/housing/grocery/parking project at 10th and Monroe, on the edge of Piedmont Park.
Reed got emotional when Channel 2’s Aaron Diamant asked him what he’ll take away from his 8-year run.
“I love Atlanta, I mean, I love this city. That’s what I’ll take away. I love the people here. They gave me my dream,” Reed said.
As for what's next, Reed said he plans to do some teaching at the University of Chicago's Institute of Politics. He also plans to do some writing about his time in office and hit the speaking circuit.
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