Cumberland CID Sees Big Future Ahead

Georgia’s first CID (Community Improvement District), the Cumberland CID, is celebrating its thirtieth anniversary this year. To mark the occasion, the organization has released Blueprint Cumberland 3.0, a 15-year master plan that is an update to previous studies completed in 2001 and 2007. Those studies have yielded more than 40 projects and $2 billion in private investment over the past 15+ years. Now the implementation of Blueprint 3.0’s infrastructure expansion and programs could reap $3.6 billion more for Cobb County.

Escalating Growth

The Cumberland CID is experiencing its greatest building cycle since the 1980s, and the CID sees no reason for that growth to slow down. Real estate values in the district are currently $5.4 billion and are projected to grow to $7.2 billion by 2024. Last year saw the addition of 1300 multi-family units and nearly 1.5 million square feet of office space to the area. The CID delivered $130 million in projects, most of which were already in the works before the Atlanta Braves announced their plans to move to Cobb County and to build their new stadium in the Cumberland district.

Still more major projects are currently in this year’s pipeline, including 5,300 new residential units that will yield nearly 10,600 new residents, five new Class A office buildings, five new hotels, hundreds of millions of dollars in commercial renovations, and nearly 625,000 new square feet of retail.

Moving Beyond Roads

According to the Cumberland CID’s December press release, “Blueprint Cumberland 3.0, the culmination of a year-long study, refines the framework within which community access projects are selected, designed and constructed to make the Cumberland area a more accessible and attractive place to work, visit, and live.”

Blueprint 3.0 marks a shift in emphasis from road-building strategy to making Cumberland a 24-hour live-work-play community. Beginning this year, the Cumberland CID’s next phase of projects will focus on three areas: access, connectivity, and “placemaking.” Providing a fluid road system, transit options, and pedestrian access to trails and amenities are at the top of the CID’s list of goals. Toward these ends, the blueprint envisions 41 projects, 33 of which involve connectivity, and six of which pertain to access. These projects represent $159 million in investment.

Significance to Cobb’s – and Georgia’s – Economy

The Cumberland district’s ongoing success is significant to both Cobb County and the entire state of Georgia. At 6.5 square miles—including 840 acres of natural resources—the Cumberland CID accounts for less than two percent of Cobb County’s land area but represents one third of its economy. The Cumberland CID’s share of Cobb’s employment was 23 percent in 2010; that number is expected to reach 30 percent in 2026. On a larger scale, Cumberland grew to account for 5.4 percent of Georgia’s economy in 2010 and is expected to reach 6.4 percent by 2016.

The CID contributed $837 million in annual revenue to Georgia in 2016 and generated 4 percent of all Georgia revenues that same year. It generates $77 million in annual revenues for Cobb County; this contribution costs the county $44 million, leaving a surplus of $32.5 million.

Public and Private Investment

The Cumberland CID has created a map of private investment projects underway in its market:

According to the map, Cumberland will realize $5 billion in public and private investment by the end of this year. These moneys include $3 billion in private investment, which will encompass 1.7 million square feet of new Class A office space; 8,854 new residential units; 1,397 new hotel rooms; and 625,500 square feet of new retail space. Public investment will total $2 billion in public infrastructure improvements.

These improvements will include several major road construction projects. Some of those scheduled for this year include:

  1. Intersection of Cobb Parkway and Windy Hill Road. Intersection improvements and lane widening project. Expected to be complete in Summer 2018.
  2. Bob Callan Trail. Improvements to Interstate North Parkway Trailhead to Interstate North Parkway at Rottonwood Creek Bridge. Expected to be complete January 2019.
  3. Interstate North Parkway at Windy Ridge Parkway to Interstate North Circle. Construction of a road-widening, multi-use trail along Interstate North Parkway. Expected to be complete Spring 2018.
  4. Atlanta Road Interchange Reconstruction at Atlanta Road Bridge over I-285. Replacing the existing twin bridges with a single bridge. Expected to be complete August 2018.
  5. Terrell Mill Road at Greenwood Trail. Adding a new traffic signal, school flashing beacons, and sidewalk at Terrell Mill Road and Greenwood Trail for Brumby Elementary School. Expected to be complete July 2018 (before the start of school).
  6. Northwest Corridor Express Lanes at ramp and bridge of the I-75/I-285 interchange along the 75 corridor. Georgia's managed lanes project will add about 30 miles of “reversible” toll lanes through Cobb and Cherokee County. Expected to be complete Summer 2018.
  7. Cumberland Boulevard Improvement between Akers Mill Road and Cumberland Parkway. Adding a west-bound lane, pedestrian improvement, lighting, and landscaping between Akers Mill Road and Cumberland Parkway. Expected to be complete October 2018.
  8. Lower Roswell Road from South Marietta Parkway to Holt Road. Widening Lower Roswell Road and adding left-turn and right-turn lanes, signal modifications, and sidewalks. Expected to be complete March 2018.

These improvements will help to accommodate the growing influx of businesses, commuters, and residents to the Cumberland CID. The CID may be shifting its focus, but as the district’s popularity shows no signs of abating, road-building will likely stay on the CID’s agenda.