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Mayor Kasim Reed and Arthur M. Blank Announce Additional $32 Million Worth of Investments in Atlanta’s Historic Westside Neighborhoods

Post Date:09/14/2017 12:25 PM

 Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303

Anne Torres, Director
404-330-6423, office
404-904-2618, cell

Jenna Garland, Press Secretary
404-330-6612, office
404-357-5579, cell

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 14, 2017

News Release

Mayor Kasim Reed and Arthur M. Blank Announce Additional $32 Million Worth of Investments in Atlanta’s Historic Westside Neighborhoods

ATLANTA – The City of Atlanta announced today that during an event on Friday evening that welcomed 1,500 Westside residents, stakeholders and nonprofits to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Mayor Kasim Reed and Arthur Blank each made investments in Atlanta’s historic Westside neighborhoods. On behalf of the city of Atlanta, Mayor Kasim Reed dedicated $15 million to the future Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, $1 million to Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre, and $1 million to Westside Works. Through his family foundation, Blank committed an additional $15 million, bringing the total of the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund to $30 million.

“I am thankful to Arthur Blank for his ongoing commitment to our city, and for being an exemplary partner as we work to build equity and inclusion in our Westside neighborhoods,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “Arthur has now pledged $30 million to the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund – a figure which will allow partner groups to continue their work to transform the Westside stadium neighborhoods with long-term residents. The City of Atlanta is proud to make its own commitment to the new Westside Reservoir Park, which will be the largest new park in the entire city, and an additional $1 million each to the arts and Westside Works. Now is the time for our city’s corporate and philanthropic leaders to join us and make their own commitment to the Westside as we make long-term, transformational change.”

The future Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, when completed, will be the largest park in the City of Atlanta with nearly 300 acres of greenspace and will connect to the Atlanta BeltLine. The park will also include a reservoir with up to 30 days’ drinking water supply, boosting the city’s resilience to drought.

“Real, impactful change is happening in Atlanta’s historic Westside communities because of the passion and trust expressed by residents, the belief in inclusive transformation from corporate partners and the city of Atlanta, and the dedication by Westside-based nonprofits to serve those facing some of the toughest of circumstances,” stated Arthur Blank, chairman of The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation and owner of the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United. “We know there is more to be done, and our family foundation is unreservedly committed to the people and place of Atlanta’s historic Westside.”

Mayor Reed also committed $1 million to establish Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre on the Westside. Leon is a Tony-award winning Broadway and film director, and serves as the Artistic Director of Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre. Finally, Mayor Reed committed an additional $1 million contribution to Westside Works, a long-term neighborhood program focused on creating employment opportunities and job training for residents of the Westside community, including Vine City, English Avenue, Castleberry Hill and other contiguous neighborhoods. Since its inception, Westside Works has trained more than 500 neighborhood residents, who earn an average wage of $13.76 per hour. Seventy-eight percent of residents in the program retain living wage jobs after one year.

Since 2014, the Blank Foundation has distributed more than $12 million of the initial $15 million Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund commitment in areas focused on building human capital through workforce development, housing, education, health, entrepreneurship, and youth leadership. An additional $7 million has been invested in Westside initiatives through other foundation programming.

To view the announcement from Friday with Arthur Blank and Mayor Reed, visit or visit @BlankFamilyFoundation on Facebook.


Formed in 1995, The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation promotes innovative solutions to transforming the lives of youth and their families, seeking results that move communities beyond what seems possible today.

Since its inception, the Foundation has invested more than $300 million in education, parks and greenspace, youth development, community redevelopment, and the arts, and leads giving programs for each of the Blank Family of Businesses, including the Atlanta Falcons, Atlanta United, PGA TOUR Superstore, Mountain Sky Guest Ranch, and West Creek Ranch. 

Mr. Blank, chairman of the Foundation, co-founded The Home Depot, the world’s largest home improvement retailer, in 1978 and retired from the company as co-chairman in 2001.

For more information about The Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation, visit or follow @BlankFamilyFoundation on Facebook and @BlankFoundation on Twitter.


For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed

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