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Coca-Cola Donates $2 Million to Hometown

ATLANTA, Georgia, January 10, 2008 (ENS) – Headquartered in Atlanta, the Coca-Cola Company today announced a $2 million grant to support Atlanta’s BeltLine Partnership, a coalition of business, community and civic leaders charged with making the city’s vision for the BeltLine a reality.

The BeltLine project proposes an integrated network of public parks, multi-use trails and transit along a 22 mile historic railroad corridor circling downtown and connecting many neighborhoods directly to each other by streetcar.

The announcement was made by Neville Isdell, chairman and CEO of The Coca-Cola Company, during the Mayor’s 2008 State of the City Business Breakfast. “This is another way for us to give back to our hometown, which has supported us so well over the years,” said Isdell.

The grant supports pedestrian trails in the West End section of Atlanta, which will provide venues for walking, running, cycling, and other outdoor activities.

New multi-use trails will form part of the BeltLine following the 22 mile transit loop, and 11 miles of additional trails will extend into surrounding neighborhoods to increase access to the BeltLine.

The BeltLine will add over 1,200 acres of new green space incorporating public art through a linear park alongside trails, including the creation of new parks and the expansion of existing parks.


The BeltLine in Piedmont
Park (Photo by Daniel Mayer)

Isdell also announced that company executive Ben Jordan will serve as a loaned executive to the Sustainable Atlanta Initiative in support of the City’s sustainability efforts.

A Georgia native, Jordan helps manage a 250-person global organization. He has extensive global environmental experience and has helped lead a number environmental initiatives, including the Company’s work with Global Environmental Management Initiative; the Coalition for Environmentally Responsible Economies; Business for Social Responsibility; World Wildlife Fund, River Network and The Nature Conservancy. Jordan is on the board of Upper Chattahoochee Riverkeeper.

The BeltLine will invest $240 million in affordable workforce housing; support the cleanup of contaminated properties; and generate $20 billion of new economic development over its 25 year project span.

The Beltline project is anticipated to cost $2.8 billion over 25 years. It will be funded through local, state, and federal public funds as well as private philanthropic contributions.

Development is already happening in several areas along the BeltLine. Different segments of the BeltLine will be completed at different times. Parks may come first in certain areas, and the trail may begin to take shape first in others. All plans include transit.

With more than $1.5 billion in new investment and more than 60 new projects underway within its Tax Allocation District, the BeltLine is already generating new jobs and stimulating economic activity in Atlanta.

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