Officials with the Clayton County Board of Commissioners, Invest Clayton, and Lake City broke ground Friday on a massive $800 million multi-use development that will be the first high-rise complex on metro Atlanta’s south side.

Developer Jacque Roman of Roman United and project architect Hussein Bakri of BAD Consult joined Clayton County Chairman Jeff Turner, Commissioners Alieka Anderson (District 1) and DeMont Davis (District 4), Lake City Mayor Ron Dodson, and Invest Clayton Chair Regina Deloach and board member Larry Vincent for the announcement. Broadcaster Karyn Greer, who will return to air on WSB-TV when her noncompete clause with CBS 46 runs out, emceed the event.

Some other officials on hand included Lake City City Manager Chris Leighty, Clayton County Economic Development Officer Erica Rocker, Clayton County COO Detrick Stanford, and Lake City Police Chief Tony Whitmire.

Roman told The Clayton Crescent that Phase One, which includes one high-rise with residential and an amphitheater, should be done in 2023. That will include an incubator for small business.

Deloach said the project will start with excavation for underground parking, somewhere between three and five levels, depending on conditions. She added that the project, which is about two blocks from Reynolds Nature Preserve, will be environmentally friendly.

Bakri said the project will use roundabouts to manage traffic. According to Vincent, MARTA’s bus rapid transit (BRT) will stop outside the development but not go through it; dedicated shuttles and limousine service will take visitors to and from the airport.

Because the 25-story development is the first high-rise south of Midtown, Vincent said, the county will need to make some zoning changes to accommodate the project.

A few dozen familiar faces came out for the announcement, among them Melenated Pearl’s Crystal Perry, Library Board member Brenda Harrison, politicos Attania Jean-Funny and Alaina Reaves, Family Literacy of Georgia’s Shavawn Simmons, and Timothy Vondell Jefferson.

The Lake City Community Center will host a related event this evening around 6:30 p.m.

More to come.

Robin Kemp is executive editor and CEO of The Clayton Crescent, which she founded in 2020. She has worked for Gambit, CNN, The Weather Channel, Clayton News, Henry Herald, and numerous freelance outlets....

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