Atlanta: Making Commercial Real Estate More Affordable for Minority-Owned Businesses

The city of Atlanta is a finalist for this year’s City Accelerator project, which is focused on helping cities build and grow their network of local businesses and entrepreneurs of color.
by The city of Atlanta | June 15, 2018 AT 10:00 AM
(177 ratings)

The city of Atlanta is a finalist for this year’s City Accelerator project, which is focused on helping cities build and grow their network of local businesses and entrepreneurs of color. Cities that are chosen for the project will receive valuable support and resources from experts and peers to help them achieve their goals.

You can help select this year's City Accelerator participants! Check out the cities’ pitches, and then let us know which ones you think should be a part of this important program by giving them a star rating and leaving your comments below!

What is Atlanta proposing?

The city of Atlanta proposes a pilot project to help make buying real estate more affordable for local, economically underserved businesses in Southwest Atlanta. With a focus on the 30-acre Pittsburgh Yards site located on the Atlanta Beltline, the proposed real-estate development fund would address three major challenges experienced by minority-owned businesses: limited access to capital based on traditional underwriting criteria; debt service payment capabilities; difficulty purchasing commercial space; and preparing for business growth.

VIEW OTHER CITY PITCHES 

For a detailed description of the mission and purpose of the City Accelerator’s cohort on Local Businesses and Jobs Growth, click here.

Public response is one of several criteria being used by the City Accelerator to select cohort cities. The number of ratings or comments by themselves do not determine final status or selection.

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The City Accelerator wants your feedback. Ask a question or share your thoughts on the problem and the proposed approach - and we welcome your comment on what a solution would mean for city residents

Be part of the campaign for civic innovation at the City Accelerator, presented by Citi Foundation.

Kent Spencer

On: 06-28-2018

Truth. Great presentation!

Tialer Scott

On: 06-25-2018

This will be great for Atlanta!

Michael McMillan

On: 06-25-2018

As Atlanta is one of the main cities that minorities come to aspiring towards their dreams. It should be welcomed for this assistance to accelerate those individuals suited to help maintain those hopes to prosper

sohna

On: 06-24-2018

This project will be amazing and will focus on job creation, community connectivity, and the community is driving the development by selecting branding, colors, and such. This is how development should be done in communities.

Andre

On: 06-23-2018

This is perfect, come to the ATL.

Sterling J.

On: 06-22-2018

Much needed resource for Southwest Atlanta. Looking forward to following the project.

Terri Davis

On: 06-22-2018

Best wishes!

The Credits Podcast

On: 06-22-2018

Keep up the good work!

Jerrold Mobley

On: 06-22-2018

Excellent proposal.

Martin

On: 06-22-2018

Excellent

Karim Shariff

On: 06-22-2018

ATL!

Tami D

On: 06-22-2018

This is an awesome opportunity for the City of Atlanta. Small business resources and jobs will create a better quality of life for many...

April Sullivan

On: 06-22-2018

Very much needed.

John Taylor

On: 06-22-2018

Excellent proposal!

John Taylor

On: 06-22-2018

Excellent peopsal!

Adam Sparks

On: 06-22-2018

Sorely needed and well done. Good!

Scott

On: 06-22-2018

Brilliant!

Van

On: 06-22-2018

What a great opportunity for Atlanta!

Brian

On: 06-22-2018

Much needed!

Jeanna B

On: 06-22-2018

Atlanta's Pittsburgh Yards project will be an inspired hub of creativity and connectivity and just right for City Accelerator!

Megan

On: 06-22-2018

Wonderful idea & seamlessly fits in with the collaborative power of the city! Please come to Atlanta!

AHA Services

On: 06-21-2018

As a small DBE working in the wiring and administration of these complex technology and business networks. The Atlanta proposal is most all encompassing, whereas entrepreneurs of all facets are able to participate and with the additional investment this growth can spur wealth building in a company that has traditionally had barriers to entrance in a particular industry.

Vanessa Jackson

On: 06-21-2018

This project soul be a fabulous anchor for my southwest Atlanta community!

Patrick

On: 06-21-2018

Love it! Please come to Atlanta.

Anonymous

On: 06-21-2018

This project is an unprecedented opportunity to spur a more equitable distribution of income, wealth, jobs and entrepreneurial opportunities in an area that is in the midst of significant and promising transition.

Tsedey

On: 06-21-2018

Inspiring....we're a beacon of progress for the American South. Rise up ATL!

Paul-Emile Brice

On: 06-21-2018

Good initiative!

Nasim

On: 06-21-2018

The evolution of the Atlanta Way - I hope we get the opportunity the participate in this discourse with other cities

Quynh

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta is aspiring to the beloved community and this would be a great opportunity to engage the city in efforts to achieve social equity!

Ayana

On: 06-21-2018

Great idea in a Mecca for minority owned businesses facing the challenges that come with gentrification. Atlanta should be the model for the South.

Tanzy

On: 06-21-2018

What a great idea! I'm hopeful that it comes to fruition!

James Bailey

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta is poised to be a national model - this is how you stimulate growth and close the gap. Incredible pitch and great idea.

Tawny Powell

On: 06-21-2018

I think this project will help Atlanta continue to be at the forefront of innovative development, and can be an example for other cities to follow!

jimA

On: 06-21-2018

Great ideas from Pittsburgh Yards development grp., thinking creatively about not just nhbrd's.. creating imaginative, innovation in nhbrd's.

Liberty Rudo

On: 06-21-2018

Cool idea. Atlanta is on it.

Shawn Walton

On: 06-21-2018

This is what will make Atlanta an international model of equity.

Teague Buchanan, Adair Park

On: 06-21-2018

This is a substantial investment to provide opportunities to help people move up the ladder, provide jobs, and level the playing field to where everyon can have a shot at their piece of the pie. Keep it up!

Diane M

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta has always been a leader and a great supporter of entrepreneurship!

Greg

On: 06-21-2018

This would be a small step in the right direction for everyone

Travis Culberson

On: 06-21-2018

I like the idea and support making businesses affordable for minorities!

Natallie Keiser

On: 06-21-2018

I would be thrilled to see this opportunity support local Atlanta entrepreneurs.

Ashani O'Mard

On: 06-21-2018

Fantastic model that will focus on supporting small businesses and creating generational wealth building opportunities -- much of which was disproportionately stripped from African-American communities during the recession (http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_politics/politics/2014/07/black_homeownership_how_the_recession_turned_owners_into_renters_and_obliterated.html). Good luck!!!

Rob

On: 06-21-2018

Project will be a great anchor between the Pittsburg area and the beltline in the south part of Atlanta!

Kisha

On: 06-21-2018

This is a great idea. Afforable business housing is just as important as affordable residential housing in rapidly gentrifying commuities. I hope the city of atl contiues to think of ways to make revitalized communities accessible to all even as real estate prices continue to soar.

Christina Cummings

On: 06-21-2018

Excellent opportunity for ATL!

Kevin

On: 06-21-2018

Making commercial real estate affordable is essential for social justice and equal opportunity.

Anonymous

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta needs this to help keep homes in the hands of long-term residents

Cicely Garrett

On: 06-21-2018

Entrepreneurship is a critical component of Atlanta's robust economy. As we are ever so focused on preservation of affordable housing and inclusive growth for residents, it is also important we apply these same values to local, small business. Minority-owned businesses are just as vulnerable as the residents of the neighborhoods they serve. This is an exciting opportunity for Atlanta to ensure that minority-owned businesses have the tools to thrive and truly be resilient.

Wanona

On: 06-21-2018

This is great and much needed in Atlanta!

Jones

On: 06-21-2018

lets do it

Lisa

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta needs this program to ensure those living in their communities can be a part of the development process. I love where the future is headed!

Shermonte Thomas

On: 06-21-2018

I love Atlanta and to see so much growth, its only right for small businesses to get these oppurtunities and be cornerstones of each community

John

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta is growing with the belt-line and each community will become a part of the larger city... with just a little help for the individual business owners. Please support Atlanta!

Peridot_lyoness

On: 06-21-2018

Seems like a great thought out, sound plan. Atlanta's southwest can utilize this revitalization. I'm all for it.

Jackie

On: 06-21-2018

A great opportunity for Atlanta to showcase the heart that it has for the community at large. Excited about this new venture and the impacts that it will have for future generations.

Susan

On: 06-21-2018

Think this would be an excellent contribution to the City of Atlanta. Kudos!

Winfrey Young

On: 06-21-2018

A sincere partnership that empowers those who might not otherwise have the resources required to build a successful business creates a WIN WIN for everyone involved. The city of Atlanta, Invest Atlanta, and the Annie E. Casey Foundation have joined to provide the foundation for a sincere partnership. These grants will help fund businesses that want to anchor in one of the oldest African American neighborhoods in SW Atlanta (since 1883) and in doing so will help tear down barriers that might otherwise keep some entrepreneurs from locating in Pittsburgh Yard. Kudos to Atlanta for diligently working to flip the script on the unfortunate effects of little to no opportunity, lack of access to working capital, and exclusion from the playing field.

Shannon N.

On: 06-21-2018

What an amazing and deserving opportunity this is for Atlanta. The city once known as too busy to hate is leading the way for a stronger Westside for everyone. Many are worried about the gentrification happening in Southwest Atlanta and the impacts it will have on longtime minority residents and business owners. This will help so much!!

Jakob von Trapp

On: 06-21-2018

I have first hand knowledge of the Pittsburgh Yards project and it's genuine mission is an excellent fit for this great as a landing spot for small business creation. Atlanta will make you proud!

Kate Little

On: 06-21-2018

Atlanta needs this program.

Brandi Rae

On: 06-20-2018

This is amazing! I have been waiting for this opportunity for our community! I will be looking forward to be one of the businesses to apply. Awesome work!

Wayne C

On: 06-20-2018

Amazing

Dana Pettaway

On: 06-20-2018

Amazing seeing the history and future of a bright tomorrow especially in a area in which I’m invested in and my family will continue to grow.

Wayne Pettaway

On: 06-20-2018

As a resident I love my city and would love for everyone to get an equal share of the pie.

Jennifer

On: 06-20-2018

Tremendous need and tremendous opportunity!

Cynthia F.

On: 06-20-2018

I am so proud of Atlanta.

Cynthia F.

On: 06-20-2018

I am so of Atlanta.

Jannis Shannon

On: 06-20-2018

Excellent opportunity to provide assistance to an underserved area in SW Atlanta and much needed to increase job growth opportunities.

KTS

On: 06-20-2018

Go ATL!

Toml

On: 06-20-2018

Great concept, lots of potential in this neighborhood.

AMBER

On: 06-20-2018

I strongly believe that this is absolutely needed in Atlanta!

Kiera

On: 06-20-2018

This program will definitely help business owners in the Atlanta Area.

Greg Cole

On: 06-20-2018

I am very excited about this opportunity. Pittsburgh Yards is an ambitious project that will provide the resources that minority-owned businesses need to succeed. Access to capital will go a long way to ensuring success for creative entrepreneurs here in Atlanta.

Lonnie

On: 06-20-2018

Atlanta is great!

Ashley Jones

On: 06-20-2018

This is definitely needed w/in our great city

Justin

On: 06-20-2018

Let's make it happen in Atlanta!

Sabrina

On: 06-20-2018

Wonderful Idea! Finally to see the growth return in the community and to have the opportunity available for the African American businesses placed by into their proper place. . It's been a long time coming...

Larry Pounds

On: 06-20-2018

It would be great to have assistance to business owners trying to serve the underserved areas in Metro Atlanta.

Alicia Thomas

On: 06-20-2018

Well deserved!

Laura

On: 06-20-2018

This vision will initiate revitalization in a very underserved part of Atlanta. I look forward to the evolution, and the positive impact it will have on the residents and future entrepreneurs.

Amber

On: 06-20-2018

This opportunity will be huge for Pittsburgh and the city of Atlanta!

Debõrah

On: 06-20-2018

I hope this can help a women that is a POC!

Simon Berrebi

On: 06-20-2018

This program would be a game changer, really hope it sees the light!

annette samuels

On: 06-20-2018

How exciting. Just what the Pittsburgh and surrounding areas need an opportunity!

Alex Brooks

On: 06-20-2018

Awesome concept!

Cathi Barlow

On: 06-20-2018

The Pittsburgh Yards project has enormous potential by itself. Targeting minority businesses with funds to help purchase a location is a brilliant way to accelerate their potential and provide initial stability!

Helen Jenkins

On: 06-20-2018

This is a great opportunity for the Pittsburgh community and Atlanta.

Monique Nunnally

On: 06-20-2018

I am super excited about this opportunity for development right in my own backyard. As a teacher in the community, I find that their are not a great deal of opportunities for my students on the south side and this will be integral in ensuring that our youth and families have access to wealth generating opportunities right in their communities. Kudos Invest Atlanta and Casey Foundation.

Abiodun Henderson

On: 06-20-2018

We are so excited to see Atlanta participating in this program. We need this desperately!

Kimberly Lockett

On: 06-20-2018

This is what makes me smile... The opportunities are endless.

C. Farrior

On: 06-20-2018

This is a great opportunity for business owners to receive needed support which may increase their chances of success. This project will help with the challenge of business displacement by making the purchase of commercial real estate more affordable for participants. It will also provide them with needed training.

Jenny Odom

On: 06-20-2018

Powerful tools for business retention and development along the Atlanta BeltLine!

SPV

On: 06-20-2018

It makes me very hopeful to have this level of trust in the City, especially after being a resident of Atlanta for over 20 years. Go ATL!

Ryan Akin

On: 06-20-2018

This is a rare opportunity to pilot a program that will help seed what hopes to be a vibrant ecosystem that facilitates entrepreneurship and job growth leading to wealth generation for members of the communities surrounding Pittsburgh Yards. It is exciting that the City of Atlanta is considering innovative ways to support small business owners, especially in predominantly minority areas of the city that have long experienced the challenges associated with disinvestment and systemic injustices. I can imagine the shepherding, networking, and toolset of Invest Atlanta bolstered by the financial support from the City Accelerator grant serving as a catalyst to create an incredible opportunity for the small businesses in the proposed pilot to establish roots on their way to flourishing. The shear amount of land at the Pittsburgh Yards site offers plenty of opportunity for the pilot to blossom into a larger scale initiative. This grant would be exciting for the City of Atlanta and a valuable accretion to the Pittsburgh Yards project!

Carol Anderson

On: 06-19-2018

The video was very informative and illustrative of the problems facing small businesses in Atlanta and viable solutions that would help address these problems.

david collins

On: 06-19-2018

i think it is extremely vital for the opportunity to have a wealth building asset in Atlanta's community that will grow healthy environment of the City.

George Burgan

On: 06-19-2018

Atlanta's Historic Pittsburgh neighborhood is rooted in rich history. What a wonderful opportunity to help connect small business owners to an exciting development - and strengthen the neighborhood at the same time. This is a perfectly timed opportunity as well - growth often brings challenges of displacement. Making an intentional effort to include all in this economic opportunity is critical to ensuring Atlanta's Pittsburgh neighborhood retains (and regains) its rich history and vibrancy!

Terri Jacobson

On: 06-19-2018

I truly hope Atlanta wins the Accelerator Award to provide minority and women-owned businesses an opportunity to develop and grow. We recently moved to SW Atlanta and can’t wait for the project at Pittsburgh Yards. We believe it will truly propel this part of the city into a successful future.

Ssgtotterling

On: 06-19-2018

I would love to see more support for our African American small businesses! Kiomi's shop has something for everyone, regardless of skin color, and I'd be heartbroken to see it closed for lack of support.

Jessica F

On: 06-19-2018

The city of Atlanta is the hub of Georgia and definitely deserves the City Accelerator award! This will bring more opportunities to Georgia citizens.

Jackie

On: 06-19-2018

Five Stars for the ATL! This is just what Atlanta needs to close the gap between white and minority’s founders. The Westside of Atlanta is up and coming and would thrive with a project like this that could propel it to achieve success as seen on the North and Central parts of Atlanta

Carolyn Kopf

On: 06-19-2018

This is a wonderful opportunity for making a positive impact on SW Atlanta! Excellent video explaining the opportunity.

Adrianne Serrano Proeller

On: 06-19-2018

Pittsburgh Yards is a great project that benefits our community on many levels. It provides opportunities for people who have been historically marginalized. It creates jobs and wealth-making opportunities in an area where good jobs are scarce and where 33-38 percent of households do not have cars. And as for aesthetics, it transforms what has been an vacant blighted site in an historic neighborhood into a beautiful campus that connects 45 neighborhoods through the Atlanta Beltline. And finally it provides a dynamic space to strengthen community bonds through art that celebrates the significant history of Pittsburgh and the surrounding neighborhoods. Providing funding for the Atlanta City Accelerator project at Pittsburgh Yards is a smart investment in an innovative model that can be replicated across the nation.

Randi Mason

On: 06-19-2018

This is an awesome idea and a great way to support businesses in South Atlanta.

Chase Johnson

On: 06-19-2018

I live in the Atlanta area and work as a Paraprofessional for Fulton county schools system and they only pay us 19,923 a year which is below poverty level and this city need a lot of work doing for middel class and better salary teacher and staff member.

Payson Schwin

On: 06-19-2018

Pittsburgh Yards will be a tremendous asset for the city, and we need to ensure southwest Atlanta entrepreneurs can benefit. Great job!

Melissa Fortune

On: 06-19-2018

Awesome as always Atlanta!

Oliver Schwin

On: 06-19-2018

This is a great way to support entrepreneurs and small business owners in southwest Atlanta!

Kweku Forstall

On: 06-19-2018

Atlanta’s City Accelerator Project is an important and scaleable public/private partnership model that will help close troubling racial gaps in business ownership, employment, and wealth creation. We applaud Mayor Lance Bottom’s leadership in this regard as it will help historically low-income, African American neighborhoods thrive.