Downtown University Presence
Fifty years ago a highway was built that bisected a city, separating the campus of a state university from the downtown business district. Over time the separation grew more pronounced, especially on the city side, with downtown properties declining as reinvestment failed to occur.
The President of the university had a vision to “leap” the campus across the highway to reunify the campus with the business and residential community on the other side. The vision had three objectives: 1)portray the university as a premier technological institution; 2)create a technology complex that expanded undergraduate and post graduate education opportunities; and 3)revitalize the downtown.
And all of it had to be aesthetically pleasing, highly functional and sustainable while providing a welcoming and convenient environment for students, residents and businesses.
The result was the creation of a new Technology Square in downtown that included five buildings – the College of Management, a new hotel and conference center, Technology Square research building, Global Learning Center, and Economic Development Institute. This mixed use development also included ground level retail and restaurants, a parking garage and residential living units. This $122 million project was largely financed by non-public funds.
This project was a great success for Georgia Tech and while Atlanta is a much larger city there are certainly some insights for us as we work to revitalize Kent’s downtown.
Georgia Tech Downtown Hotel
Georgia Tech Downtown Conference Center
Georgia Tech Mixed Use Retail