In his final press conference as Atlanta mayor, Kasim Reed announced the largest expansion of Piedmont Park in history on Friday.
Reed said the project was coming together as late as 10 pm Thursday night.
“We have two signed letters of agreement from the property owners at the corner of Piedmont Road and Monroe Drive for the expansion,” Reed said. “This will be a street corner transformation that will lift the curtail and set a visual stage we've never had before.”
Reed said the expansion will transform the intersection and calm the corridor's traffic flow.
The city will contribute $20 million to the initial acquisition. Carol Tomé, CFO of The Home Depot and a member of the Atlanta Committee for Progress, has volunteered to lead the philanthropic effort raise up to $80 million in private funds to acquire all the remaining property and fund the park design and construction.
An anonymous philanthropist contributed $2 million to support the initial $20 million acquisition.
Reed's announcement capped one of his final days as mayor, which began with a meeting with U.S. Rep. John Lewis and a ceremony renaming the Adamsville Recreation Center to the C.T. Martin Recreation Center in southwest Atlanta.
Mayor-elect Keisha Lance Bottoms will be sworn in as Atlanta's 60th mayor at her inauguration on Tuesday Jan. 2, 2018, at the Martin Luther King, Jr. International Chapel at Morehouse College.
Reed has been the mayor of Atlanta for eight years and sat down with 11Alive's Ron Jones to reflect on his tenure. He talked about his toughest day in office and the lessons he learned along the way.