BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Here’s a preview of what’s on our work plan for the year ahead, from augmenting public life in Midtown through events, programming and activation to $35M in capital projects under construction, breaking ground or out to bid, and lots more. Read more below.
Acting on a Public Life Strategy for Midtown
For the past several months, Midtown Alliance has been working with Gehl Studio and a diverse steering committee of Midtown leaders to help us reimagine Midtown’s future as it relates to public life and public space. This work builds on two decades of extraordinary growth and investment in Midtown, because we recognize that success is not defined by dollars of investment or square feet of new projects. The true success of any urban district is the extent to which it truly creates community, and this requires a compelling urban experience at the street level. We believe that urban districts that are intentional about prioritizing robust public life on the streets and in outdoor spaces will be the most resilient amid the changes we're all experiencing.
This work will result in a five-year Public Life Action Plan for the district - focusing on strategies including creating a network of public spaces, supporting more neighborhood-serving retail, making building facades more inviting, and public art, programming and events in more places.
“We’re creating the business case for why a district-scale public life strategy is critical to Midtown’s continued success as a location of choice,” said Midtown Alliance President and CEO Kevin Green. “This year is about implementing specific strategies that will invite more public life and strengthen Midtown’s street-level appeal for office workers, visitors and residents alike.”
Advancing Transportation Projects for a Stronger Street Network
Recent progress with City of Atlanta leadership allows Midtown Alliance to take a greater role in advancing transportation improvement projects to get them implemented faster. Ten capital projects totaling more than $35M in construction costs are either currently under construction, out for bid, or scheduled to be bid during the first half of 2023. Learn more on our projects page.
“We know everyone is operating in an environment of higher construction costs and a tighter construction labor market,” said Green. “Now that these projects are able to proceed, we’ll focus on delivering as many as possible as quickly as possible.”
Full Calendar of Community Events
Making more connections between people and place also centers around a full event calendar, so look for more events and pilot programs in 2023 than ever before. Whether you want to mingle with others who spend time here and get the latest district updates, hear some live music, catch a movie outdoors, walk a red carpet with your dog, or attend an arts event, we’ve got you covered. First on the agenda: our 2023 Midtown Alliance Annual Meeting, happening Feb. 8 at The Fox Theatre. Learn more about work plan imperatives from Midtown Alliance, hear from Mayor Dickens and more. This meeting is our district’s most anticipated event of the year and sets the tone for Midtown’s future … and your role in it. Tickets are available here.
Second Cohort of Artists in Residence Moving In
The Heart of the Arts Studio Residency Program returns for 2023-2024 with a new class of seven local artists, each with emerging talents and unique backgrounds. Each artist receives workspace in the district for eighteen months in partnership with property owners, and this year Midtown Alliance is excited to announce an important new partner that is helping us grow our program on the south end of the district: Emory. Four artists will work out of studio space on Emory’s Midtown campus, with additional property partners including Databank, Dewberry Group and Perkins + Will / MODA. Look for opportunities to meet our incoming artists, and for their works to appear in the public realm in prominent places around the district.
“It’s exciting to see committed property owners step up in 2023 and 2024 and put their support behind Midtown’s Heart of the Arts residency program,” Green said. “This program yields so many benefits, from creating activity at street-level to boosting the local arts economy and cementing Midtown’s identity as a place where art is appreciated but also created.”
More to Love in 2023
Work continues on Phase 1 of the Midtown Art Walk, with the segment anticipated to be complete in mid-2023. The corridor will come to life with art installations at varying scales, unique lighting, landscaping and more. In addition, Midtown Alliance is doubling down on improvements to complement the sidewalk experience, from a potential new parklet at 11th Street between Peachtree and Crescent to new murals and storefront art in the SONO area and plaza enhancements at the North Avenue MARTA station.
Stay in the loop on these and other exciting projects by reading our Midtown Monthly e-newsletter and following Midtown Alliance on social media.