ATLANTA — The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership just received its largest donation -- and it came from a name and a foundation that the city knows well.
The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation awarded a $17.5 million grant to support development of Westside Park.
To date, the foundation has committed more than $18 million to efforts around parks, Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said. She said they have also donated nearly $50 million toward the Westside neighborhood.
"We are grateful to the Blank Family Foundation for their remarkable work to support our city and our One Atlanta vision,” Bottoms said.
With the first phase anticipated to open in 2020, Westside Park will eventually become the largest green space in the city of Atlanta.
The park will span nearly 280 acres when complete and "will serve as a catalyst for surrounding historic communities and create a destination green space for both neighboring residents and the region," the organization says.
The park will also be home to the city’s largest reservoir, which will eventually hold 2.4 billion gallons of emergency drinking water and serve as a 30-day backup source of drinking water for the city.
Future phases of the Atlanta BeltLine will connect to the Park and Proctor Creek Greenway.
“Everything we do through our family foundation and family of businesses is meant to instill a sense of community, which is why it is important for us to continue to support the efforts of the Atlanta BeltLine as it creates a new space for bringing our community together through Westside Park,” said Arthur M. Blank, Chairman of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation. “We want these Westside communities to feel like this is their park where residents, neighbors, and visitors are connecting and gathering because that is when Atlanta is at its very best.”