Technology Square and Centergy Awarded Most Pedestrian-friendly Development
Georgia Tech's Technology Square and Kim King Associates' Centergy projects are being recognized as the most pedestrian-friendly developments in metro Atlanta. Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety (PEDS) presented the honor Friday, August 15 at its Golden Shoe Awards.
"It's a great place to walk around, and it really connects Georgia Tech with Midtown," said Sally Flocks, president and chief executive officer of PEDS.
PEDS has presented Golden Shoe Awards for the past four years to people, projects and agencies that have contributed significantly during the past year toward making metro Atlanta safer and more accessible to pedestrians.
Located along Fifth Street west of the Biltmore between West Peachtree and Williams streets in Midtown, Technology Square and Centergy combine pedestrian-focused retail with education, research, economic development, hospitality and office space.
"The architecture is very pedestrian-friendly. The first-floor retail and the glass fronts to the buildings are inviting to pedestrians. The on-street parking makes walking safer because it provides a layer of protection between pedestrians and traffic," explained Flocks.
Flocks also praised the developers efforts to widen the sidewalks along West Peachtree Street, narrowing the traffic lanes and making crossings safer for pedestrians.
"Georgia Tech is honored to receive the Golden Shoe Award," said Bob Thompson, senior vice president for administration and finance at Georgia Tech. "Our Master Plan emphasizes pedestrian-friendly development and encourages pedestrian activities. As an extension of our campus into Midtown, it's vital that Technology Square be an inviting place for students, faculty, businesses and the local community to meet and interact. Moreover, Georgia Tech needs a robust retail and activity center convenient to the campus community."
Key to this plan is the DuPree College of Management. Featuring a large, glass-fronted courtyard that is open to the public, the building design provides pedestrians with a view inside the college. From inside, views of the surrounding streets connect students and faculty with the outside world. Because the building's entrance is set back from West Peachtree, the streetscape is open to natural light, preventing the street from feeling like an alley. Similar features that emphasize pedestrian activities are incorporated in the Georgia Tech Hotel, Global Learning Center and Centergy. A planned park across the Interstate 75/85 Connector, incorporating the Fifth Street Bridge, also emphasizes pedestrian quality spaces.
This month, Georgia Tech unveiled a new trolley service connecting Technology Square and Centergy with the Midtown MARTA station and the Tech campus. The rubber-tired trolleys are fueled by compressed natural gas and feature a Global Positioning System (GPS) tracking system to tell riders waiting at the four stops when the next trolley will arrive. Riders also will be able to view this information online on computers or Personal Digital Assistants (PDAs).
Technology Square was developed by a Georgia Tech team including Jones Lang LaSalle as project manager, architects Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates and the Holder-Hardin Construction Team. Centergy was developed by a partnership of Kim King and Associates, The University Financing Foundation, Smallwood Reynolds, Stewart and Stewart and the Hardin Construction Company.
Georgia Tech alumnus Ryan Gravel also garnered a Golden Shoe for his research on the Belt Line Transit Project, which he began as a Tech graduate student. His idea is to use existing railroad tracks to provide mass transit throughout 40 central Atlanta neighborhoods.
About Technology Square and Centergy:
Designed to be the nexus of a thriving high-tech corridor in Atlanta, Technology Square and Centergy connect the intellectual capital of Georgia Tech, one of the nation's premier technological research universities, to the burgeoning business and residential community in Midtown Atlanta. Within walking distance from the Midtown and North Avenue MARTA transit stations and with easy access to Interstate 75/85, Technology Square and Centergy are easy to reach whether traveling by foot, transit, or car.
Major components of Technology Square include:
* DuPree College of Management, with 189,000 square feet of classrooms, offices and learning resource space, including Executive Education and Interdisciplinary Centers.
* The 252-room Georgia Tech Hotel and Conference Center, including an Executive Conference Center with 21,000 square feet of meeting space.
* Global Learning Center, including 113,000 square feet dedicated to classrooms, computing labs, offices and distance learning.
* Economic Development Institute, devoted to furthering business development and economic growth throughout the state of Georgia.
* Center for Quality Growth and Regional Development, a research center to study metro Atlanta as a living laboratory for mixed-use development and related issues.
* Centergy One, a 486,993-square-foot office building featuring Georgia Tech's Advanced Technology Development Center, dedicated to incubating high-tech business start-ups.
* Technology Square Research Building, a 210,000-square-foot Georgia Tech building containing Tech's Graphics, Visualization and Usability Center, dedicated to becoming one of the world's premier centers for research, design and commercialization of broadband communications technology.
Retail outlets of Technology Square and Centergy include (to date):
* Barnes and Noble at Georgia Tech
* LA Fitness
* Fifth St. Ribs and Blues
* Tin Drum Asian Café
* Moe's Southwest Grill
* St. Charles Deli
* Great Wraps
* Marble Slab Creamery
* Posh Day Spa
* Parcel Plus/Copy Club
* Modern Care Cleaners and Newstand
* Great Clips
*Ray's Pizza/Cedars Mediterranean
*Volcano Smoothie and Tea Room
Golden Shoe Award Winners
Technology Square and Centergy: Pedestrian-friendly Development for providing a vibrant, mixed use community that connects Midtown and Georgia Tech;
Decatur Downtown Development Authority: Pedestrian-friendly Traffic Operations for installing in-street crosswalk signs that cause crosswalk law compliance to skyrocket;
Jonesboro Road Beautification Project: Pedestrian-friendly Streetscape for installing sidewalks, landscaping, lighting, and bus shelters;
City of Atlanta: Pedestrian-friendly Legislation for legislation increasing fines for parking on sidewalks;
Atlanta Regional Commission: Pedestrian-friendly Education for Walkable Community Workshops focusing on the value of pedestrian-friendly street design;
Georgia State University Police: Pedestrian-friendly Enforcement for intense,
year- round enforcement of crosswalk laws;
Flora Tommie: Pedestrian-friendly Activism for persistent advocacy and organizing efforts on behalf of pedestrians with disabilities;
Colin Campbell: Pedestrian-friendly Media for persistent attention to aggressive panhandling, speeding buses, and other problems facing pedestrians in Atlanta, balanced by columns on the joy of walking in other cities.
Ryan Gravel: Pedestrian-friendly Research for the Belt-Line Transit Project, which creates opportunities for pedestrian-friendly transit and development in Atlanta.
The Awards Jury was composed of
* Richard Dagenhart, Professor of Architecture, Georgia Institute of Technology
* Jim Durrett, Executive Director, Urban Land Institute, Atlanta District Council
* Sally Flocks, President & CEO, Pedestrians Educating Drivers on Safety
* Ronni French, Director of Development, Andrew Young School of Policy Studies, Georgia State University
* Karen Huebner, Director, City of Atlanta Urban Design Commission
PEDS is a member-based organization dedicated to making metro Atlanta safe and accessible for all pedestrians.