The Atlanta City Council has passed legislation that allows for up to US$100 million of municipal bonds to be issued to fund the completion of the Atlanta BeltLine multi-use corridor, slated to be completed in 2030. The 22-mile trail loop will deliver a total economic impact of US$10 billion and almost 50,000 permanent jobs. The BeltLine project will eventually connect 45 neighborhoods on three loops of trails, streetcars, and parks built on former railroad corridors that used to encircle the city. A newly created special service district was made to fund the BeltLine and unlocks an additional US$100 million in philanthropic contributions that have been pledged. Also, US$50 million in grants and funds from other sources are expected to come in.
The SSD is a targeted tax district where commercial and multi-family property owners pay more in property taxes to fund improvements in their neighborhoods from which they will benefit. The mayor said the BeltLine has proven to be an economic driver and will play a significant role in the city’s growth and economic recovery from the pandemic. Without additional funding from the SSD, it was unlikely the trail loop would be finished by 2030.
“The Atlanta BeltLine has offered tremendous benefits for businesses and property owners along its completed trails,” said Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms. “The SSD will help give communities throughout the city the opportunity to enjoy the benefits associated with the closing of the loop.” Atlanta’s general obligation bonds are rated Aa1 by Moody’s Investors Service, A by S&P Global Ratings, and AA-plus by Fitch Ratings. The new funding will also enable US$45 million in affordable housing funds, US$12 million in small business support, and up to US$150 million in construction funds targeted toward minority-owned contractors and businesses.