Friday June 16, 2000
Technique - The South's Liveliest College NewspaperNews

Clough holds press conference to reveal master plan details

By Jennifer Hinkel News Editor

President Clough held a press conference on June 5 to release details of Tech’s master plan, a Midtown development that will begin in early 2001 and cost approximately $148 million to complete.

The project includes a new complex for the DuPree College of Management, a hotel and conference center, the new location of the University Bookstore, 1,700 parking spaces, and retail businesses.

The June 5 press release stated that “A recent survey by the Midtown Alliance estimated that nearly 2,000 new residences are either under construction or about to break ground and another 3,000 residences are planned... Over the past five years investments of more than a billion dollars have revitalized Midtown. "

Tech will add to those billions of investment dollars with the construction of the complex; the project should be completed in 2003.

Tech decided to expand to the east rather than north, west, or south of campus for several reasons. Part of the interest in expanding east was in preserving the community of Home Park. The area to the south is Centennial Place, a residential area including homes and schools. Tech’s Master Plan includes development of research and academic facilities to the west and southwest, to Marietta Street and Northside Drive.

Another consideration was the ability to easily connect Tech campus with Midtown via Fifth Street.

“Georgia Tech had to seize the opportunity to create a closer link to the vibrant Midtown business and residential community. This is literally a once in a lifetime opportunity,” said a FAQ sheet about the Fifth Street Project from the office of Institute Communications and Public Affairs.

The expansion will be constructed on a tract of land spanning either side of Fifth Street, from I-75/85 and Williams Street to West Peachtree Street. The development will stretch four blocks in the north/south direction. Spring Street will run through the center of the complex. The entire area of the project extends across eight acres.

The property that Tech is choosing to build on has been in the possession of the Georgia Tech Foundation since 1997, when it was purchased for $11.9 million.

The many buildings that will be part of the complex will provide needed space for several Institute activities. The new University Bookstore will be over 50,000 square feet. A Continuing Education Center and Economic Development Institute will boast 136,000 square feet of classrooms, computer labs, and offices.

Various parts of the complex will serve to raise revenue. A hotel and executive conference center will add 250 guest rooms and 210,000 square feet of space. Additionally, restaurant and retail space on Fifth Street between West Peachtree and Williams Street will add 20,000 square feet of space designated for leasing. The revenue from retail space leases will help to fund the Bookstore and other parts of the construction.

As said by Georgia Governor Roy Barnes, “there is a transition going on in Georgia’s economy from really an industrial and manufacturing economy to a high-tech economy. Georgia Tech is at ground zero of re-making that economy."