by Patch Staff
The Atlanta BeltLine Partnership announced Friday it will receive a generous grant from the Woodruff Foundation to support the Atlanta BeltLine project's expansion, specifically the development of the Gateway connecting the Eastside Trail to Historic Fourth Ward Park.
The $3 million grant will also support the development of the portion of the Eastside Trail through Reynoldstown; design for this trail segment will begin by the end of the year.
With this contribution, private sector investment in the project now exceeds $41 million.
"As a neighborhood, Reynoldstown is super excited to know that our section of the BeltLine will be soon be a vital link in connecting the neighborhoods of Ormewood Park, Glenwood Park, Reynoldstown and Cabbagetown to those communities of Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, Poncey-Highland, Virginia-Highland and Piedmont Park," Jeffrey Landers, president of the Reynoldstown Civic Improvement League, said.
"The BeltLine is taking shape and becoming a force which will energize and revitalize intown Atlanta like nothing else we have ever seen. This was a tremendous gift to our area and will benefit our community greatly."
Atlanta Mayor Kasin Reed said the BeltLine is a "critical priority" for the city.
"I applaud the Woodruff Foundation for their generous gift and confidence in the Atlanta BeltLine’s ability to connect communities, revitalize neighborhoods and redevelop entire areas of Atlanta," Reed said in a statement.
"This ambitious project is a national model for other cities to follow and is transforming the way we move around Atlanta. I am hopeful that this private funding will spur others in our city’s vibrant corporate community to help out financially as well.”
The Robert W. Woodruff Foundation Inc. is an independent private foundation with a broad charter to support charitable, scientific, and educational activities. It is headquartered in Midtown.
Robert Woodruff assumed leadership of the Coca-Cola Co. in 1923 and guided it until his death in 1985. In 1937 he incorporated the Trebor Foundation, which was renamed the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation following his death.
The foundation received funds from the estate of Woodruff's wife, Nell Hodgson Woodruff, who died in 1968, and from the Woodruff estate. The Woodruffs had no children.
Added BeltLine Partnership Executive Director Valarie Wilson: "The Woodruff Foundation's investment in the Atlanta BeltLine is a testimony to the value it sees in the development of what is Atlanta's most ambitious economic redevelopment project. We are so grateful for the incredible support the private sector has continued to lend to enable this transformative project to fulfill its vision of a healthier city."