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Transit, Bikes, and Midtown

Transit, Bikes, and Midtown


Some  last words from our Future of Midtown summit this week, pertaining to what's missing in Midtown. For North American Properties' Mark Toro, it's transit. "Getting around town in something other than a single passenger vehicle, which is the curse of the suburbs has got to be resolved," he says. Unfortunately, the loss of the TSPLOST has everyone looking for a Plan B, he adds. (Could we se a boom in the tandem bicycle market?)
Hines Interests' Kurt Hartman (far right with Novare's Jim Borders, Mark, Jamestown Properties' Matt Bronfman and CohnReznick's Wes Hudson) echoes those concerns and called the lack of transit—MARTA notwithstanding—as one of the "key elements that is restricting the growth of this metroplex." And Jim had a much different take on solving the  transit problems (aside from tugging his Segway home after the battery dies): "I really would love to see bicycles all over Midtown."
Midtown Alliance's  Kevin Green may help answer Jim's wishes to an extent. Part of the upcoming streetscape improvements include lining Juniper Street with bike lanes. The Midtown Alliance has redesigned some 14 miles of streetscapes in the submarket since 2000 in an attempt to create transit-friendly, walkable corridors. He also highlighted a  $3M, three-year traffic signal optimization project for Midtown to coordinate traffic light timing in the area to improve flow.
During our morning coffee schmooze, we met up with JLL's Michael Sivewright  and  Ian Henderson. Michael says that things for the CRE industry are looking much brighter this year in Atlanta than in the past. "We haven't seen a summer slowdown, so that's kind of nice," he says. "It seems like Atlanta's economy has a  bit of steam this year." (Raise your half-full glasses for a toast.)
After the event, we jetted off to Washington, DC for Bisnow's Data Center Investment Conference & Expo (DICE) at the JW Marriott, where we've been on the ground reporting. There, we snapped what we hope is someone's idea of humor, but that third WiFi network has us a little creeped out. Check out our DICE coverage here.