“The Historic Westside has shaped Atlanta’s rich legacy of social impact and cultural relevance. Today, the collective efforts of our philanthropic, business and academic communities are working to ensure its vibrant future. With Ryan Gravel’s thought leadership, Elevator City Partners’ proposed redevelopment of West End Mall is an example of how economic development – in concert with continued focus on transit, workforce development and education – can play a vital role as we work towards long-term, transformational change.”
– Hala Moddelmog, President & CEO, Metro Atlanta Chamber
The history of West End is a unique and beautiful story about the expansion of African American culture and enterprise in Atlanta. Our intention with the redevelopment of the West End Mall is to build on that legacy with a district catalyst that is designed for the 21st century.
We anticipate that the future site development will include some current mall tenants, but it will also elevate options for local residents, workers, students, and faculty. This includes a wider variety of food, shopping, and cultural spaces that are currently only found outside of West End. Importantly, our plan includes a catalyst development fund to ensure local businesses play a major role in the development and growth of the community.
Opportunity Zones. A major driver for new investment in West End is the new federal Opportunity Zone program, which provides tax incentives to investors willing to make long-term investments in neglected and financially distressed communities. The zones were identified in 2018 by state governments. Georgia OZs include a balance between urban and rural zones.
In the City of Atlanta, Opportunity Zones cover parts of historically-disinvested communities, primarily south and west of downtown. The portion of the West End commercial district that includes the West End Mall is within an Opportunity Zone. In fact, West End has the only OZ that is within close proximity to the Atlanta Beltline, a MARTA rail station, and an Interstate Highway.
While Opportunity Zones require investment in underserved areas like West End, the legislation has no requirement for investors to consider community interests. This has made OZs controversial in some places. Elevator’s vision for the West End Mall, however, is built around community interests – not only because it is the right thing to do, but because we believe it is our most profitable path forward.
West End Atlanta is included in metro Atlanta’s portfolio of Opportunity Zone projects. It is #15 on this map.
Catalyst Development Fund
Elevator’s commitment to diversity and inclusion includes a catalyst development fund targeting local businesses that serve the community or businesses owned by community members.
The fund will be used to support:
In addition to our Economic Development Fund, Elevator is working with local, state, and national partners in both public and nonprofit sectors to ensure all existing economic development tools are utilized in the site redevelopment, including:
Existing Mall TenantsElevator will support existing West End Mall retailers in several ways throughout the master planning for the redevelopment of the mall. We will: