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CIM Group Unveils First Details On Gulch Project

Renderings of the plaza level of CIM's planned Gulch redevelopment in Downtown Atlanta.

A $5B high-profile mixed-use project in Downtown Atlanta now has a name, just in time for its coming out party at one of the biggest retailer conventions in the country.

CIM Group has branded its project to transform the Gulch as Centennial Yards. It expects to market the mix of apartments, offices, retail and hotels during the International Council of Shopping Centers' annual RECon event in Las Vegas next week, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

These are among the first details to emerge about CIM's plans since the controversial sale of the 40-acre sea of asphalt and train tracks known as the Gulch. CIM purchased the property from the city of Atlanta and Norfolk Southern, a deal that involved billions in tax incentives and a complex web of financing.

CIM First Vice President Devon McCorkle told the AJC he is seeking major apparel, grocery operators, hair salons and technology companies for the retail, as well as museums and smaller concert halls that could act as anchors.

The plan is ambitious, including the development of a $500M platform that brings portions of the property up to street level with Ted Turner, Martin Luther King Jr. and Centennial Olympic Park drives.

Construction is slated to start in 2020 and full development of the site could take upward of 15 years.

The road to Centennial Yards has not been an easy one for CIM Group. The firm received a contentious $1.9B incentive package — the largest ever approved by the city of Atlanta — despite an outcry from local residents and activists. The deal allows CIM to get property tax breaks for 20 years as well as take 30 years worth of future sales taxes to help fund its infrastructure and development.

In return, the developer is promising to build at least 200 workforce housing units and fund millions toward a city-run affordable housing trust and economic development fund, the AJC reported.