‘Times Square of the South’ proposed Downtown

ATLANTA – From the Park Pavilion rooftop, it’s easy to be inspired. A blue October sky carries the sun over the Atlanta skyline, a shaft of light peeking over the Westin into Centennial Olympic Park.

“This is going to be an exciting element,” David Marvin, president of Legacy Property Group, said.

On ground level, in between traffic and gravel parking lots, it takes a little more creativity.

Right now, 285 Marietta Street is a single empty lot in the heart of the tourism triangle. It’s used as a private parking lot.

Marvin has other plans: “a very dramatic Times Square-like video wall.”

PHOTO GALLERY: Drawings of the proposed design

It’s nicknamed “the Times Square of the South.” A huge video monitor with a live feed would cover the Marietta side of building, facing what is planned to be the College Football Hall of Fame.

But Atlanta is not New York.

Just 16 years ago, that part of Atlanta was filled with empty warehouses and closed shops. Centennial Olympic Park was the beginning of a revival. Marvin and his company played a major role in the next step: five downtown developments, creating the heart of the Luckie Marietta District.

“We’re focusing on the world class facilities that can only be found here in a pedestrian accessible, friendly, safe environment,” Marvin said. “In truth of fact, this has been a work in progress for many years.”

The Costa family is originally from Brazil and says they’re typical tourists. They were mixed in with a group of conventioneers at the Marietta Street crosswalk. Father and son agree: they like the Times Square idea, especially over the current view.

“Everything that brings people to this area of Atlanta would be nice,” Marcio Costa said.

“It would be a great idea,” his son, Murilo, said. “It would attract people from different areas of the city.”

Right now, this splashy idea is just that: an idea. Legacy is still signing on tenants, hoping to break ground later this year.

View Julie Wolfe’s interview with David Marvin here.

View the photo gallery featured on 11 Alive’s website here.