Believe it or not, nearly eight years have passed since Atlantans got their first peek at plans for a city-altering, multifaceted park created from thin air above downtown freeway lanes. But as of this week, the symbolically named Stitch has reached a new level of progress.

According to project spearheads Central Atlanta Progress, the Stitch’s planning, design, and engineering phase has officially kicked off, following public visioning meetings attended by hundreds and a windfall of crucial funding from the federal government this year.

But don’t hold your breath for a showy groundbreaking ceremony soon—or for the park to debut in its entirety in the near term.

Current pre-construction work is focused on what’s been designated phase one of the Stitch. According to CAP, this will include a 300-foot cap stretching between today’s Peachtree Street and Courtland Street bridges.

That’s roughly a city block. It's situated in the shadow of downtown landmarks including the historic Imperial Hotel, Atlanta Marriott Marquis, Truist Plaza (formerly SunTrust Plaza, Atlanta’s second tallest building), and for better or worse, the long-vacant Medical Arts Building.  

A phased breakdown of the Stitch's expected construction plan. Central Atlanta Progress

Details will be finalized through design and engineering, but according to CAP, the Stitch’s initial phase will see between 4 and 5 acres of new park space downtown. (For context, Woodruff Park is 6 acres.) Updated visuals for the Stitch depict this area as the "Peachtree Green," or a centralized main park. 

To the delight of urbanists everywhere, phase-one designs will also include six and ¼ miles of new pedestrian and bicycle infrastructure, alongside streetscape improvements, on city streets that connect with the Stitch, as project officials specified this week.

Another focal point will be easier access to MARTA’s Civic Center bus and rail station, officials have said.

The lion’s share of phase one engineering and construction is being funded by $158 million awarded to the Stitch in March from the federal program Reconnecting Communities and Neighborhoods—a grant described by project leaders at the time as “monumental.”

According to the most recent Stitch timeline, the project’s engineering and design phase is expected to last for two years, with construction beginning in 2026.

All three phases are scheduled to be designed, constructed, and open to the public by 2030, which also happens to be the Atlanta BeltLine’s deadline for completing its 22-mile multipurpose loop.

Eventually, the Stitch’s scope calls for 14 acres of new public space spread across 3/4th of a mile, all intended to restitch neighborhoods torn apart by downtown freeway construction.

The Stitch’s “Peachtree Green” section would reconnect a downtown street grid and create an active greenspace, setting the stage for park-oriented, high-rise development.

Updated overview of the Stitch's planned components when finished across 14 acres spanning 3/4ths of a mile. Central Atlanta Progress;

Stitch leadership reported this week roughly 350 people attended visioning workshops held in April and May atop Bank of America Plaza. The team “had important conversations around the master planning focus areas and collected crucial feedback from a diverse group of citizens from around metro Atlanta,” per CAP.

Anyone who missed those meetings can still toss in their 2 cents regarding Stitch design, programming ideas, and policy through the project’s engagement portal. It will be open through June 7.

Here’s a sample page from the questionnaire:

Central Atlanta Progress;


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