As Atlanta urbanism goes, proverbial hell has been freezing over all year long, and new construction keeps rising higher and higher out of the soulless chasm that is downtown’s Gulch.

With the unofficial start of summer here (and skies less hazy than they’ll be soon), it seemed an opportune time to float a drone over Centennial Yards and check in on development progress from above today.

The megaproject’s first ground-up construction site—where Centennial Olympic Park Drive meets Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive, across the street from Mercedes-Benz Stadium—hosted a groundbreaking for two high-rise projects in late 2022.

Today, the 304-unit apartment building coming to that site stands about a dozen stories over street level. Its mixed-use counterpart, the 292-key Anthem hotel, has just started vertical construction, with the curving ground floor now meeting the street.

How Centennial Yards' first ground-up new apartment building, at right, and the Anthem Hotel project appear today.

Both new buildings will stand 18 stories between The Benz and active railroad tracks below. And both are scheduled to deliver in 2025, according to Centennial Yards Company leadership.

Just east of the towers, Centennial Yards project leaders unveiled plans in March for an 8-acre, mixed-use entertainment hub with a fan plaza at the center. Those buildings are scheduled to be finished in time for eight 2026 FIFA World Cup matches set to be played in Atlanta. 

That Gensler-designed project would also include another Centennial Yards hotel (14 stories) and a three-story “immersive eatertainment concept,” all rising from the Gulch on a new platform wedged between Centennial Olympic Park Drive and MLK Jr. Drive, adjacent to both State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Project leaders were optimistic in March that second phase of Centennial Yards would begin construction this summer, possibly in June.

View over Centennial Yards today, with Midtown and Buckhead in the distance at left.

Collectively, phase two is being referred to as the project’s Entertainment District.

Developers with Centennial Yards Company, a division of Los Angeles-based CIM Group, hope to not only complete the Entertainment District in time for the World Cup—but to have two-thirds of the 50-acre project either complete or under construction by then.

For now, in the gallery above, see where Centennial Yards progress stands amidst its changing urban context today.


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