ATLANTA, Oct 13, 2009 (BUSINESS WIRE) -- The City of Atlanta and General Growth Properties, Inc. (GGP) have launched the first phase of an innovative partnership under which GGP will manage the Atlanta on-street vending program. It is one of the most comprehensive public-private partnerships of its kind in the country.
The first wave of kiosks installed under the new program is now open in Woodruff Park. The units are located along Peachtree Street, facing the park. Vendors included in this initial group are selling everything from handbags and sunglasses, to newspapers and Atlanta souvenirs, in brand new steel-framed kiosk units with brass accents and domed canopies.
"We are excited about our partnership with General Growth Properties," said Mayor Shirley Franklin. "We are confident that they will elevate the quality of our vending program and create new retailing opportunities for small businesses in the city."
This partnership follows several years of public review and deliberation over how best to improve the quality of the city's on-street vending program. A new public vending ordinance and related resolution passed in November 2008 by the City Council authorized the Mayor to contract out management of the city's public vending program. Under the new program, GGP is responsible for the design, construction and installation of the public vending kiosks in the city right-of-way and is leasing the kiosks to interested vendors and outdoor retailers.
When the first phase of installation is complete, there will be a total of 20 kiosk units in the downtown area, including locations near the Georgia Aquarium and World of Coke. The units are designed and installed by Stak Design, a Texas-based firm specializing in custom design and fabrication of retail merchandising units, specifically for the shopping center and trade show industries.
"The downtown business community is very pleased that the program is ready to be launched," said A.J. Robinson, president of Central Atlanta Progress and the Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. "This new program will dramatically improve the look and feel of downtown and generate new energy and activity on our streets."
All of the kiosk units will include three advertising panels. The kiosk advertising will be managed by Cemusa, a global leader in the management of street furniture advertising in more than 160 cities around the world. In the US, Cemusa's presence includes New York City, where the company holds the largest street furniture contract in the world, comprising 3,300 transit shelters and 330 kiosks.
Gary Yanosick, vice president of Business Development for GGP said, "We are really excited to embark on this partnership with the City of Atlanta. Our objective is to bring downtown shoppers the most appropriate variety of merchandise and services possible, in well-equipped, aesthetically-pleasing kiosk units that will add to the attraction of downtown Atlanta for tourists and residents alike."
During the planning of the program, both City of Atlanta officials and GGP committed to working diligently to bring as many qualifying current vendors into the program as were interested. In line with that objective, both worked exclusively with current vendors during the first several months after the program was introduced to make them aware of the process and requirements to lease and manage a kiosk under the new program. Vendors had the opportunity to meet with leasing representatives face-to-face to have all their questions answered, as well as discuss strategies to make their businesses even more successful in the new structure. In addition, special concessions are being made for disabled veterans currently operating vending units in downtown, including reduced rent and more lenient qualification policies.
As a result of efforts by all parties, two out of the first five kiosk units opening today are owned by vendors who operated locations under the previous city-managed program.
Patrons of downtown vendors will see immediate benefits from the new program, including more standardized operating hours, additional shopping options and consistent locations. Ultimately, GGP will be responsible for expanding the program throughout downtown and into other commercial districts of the city.
"We are confident that a professionally run program using high-quality infrastructure will generate new interest in street vending among retailers so that we can expand the program to areas of the city that have not had street vending in the past," said David Edwards, senior policy advisor to the mayor. "Hopefully, that will generate more pedestrian activity and advance our goal of making Atlanta a more walkable city."
If you are interested in leasing or advertising opportunities with the City of Atlanta Street Vending Program, please visit www.ggp.com/Business for more information.
General Growth Properties, Inc. currently has ownership interest in, or management responsibility for, over 200 regional shopping malls in 44 states, as well as ownership in master planned community developments and commercial office buildings. The Company's portfolio totals approximately 200 million square feet of retail space and includes over 24,000 retail stores nationwide. The Company's common stock is currently traded in the over-the-counter securities market operated Pink OTC Markets Inc. using the symbol GGWPQ. For more information, visit www.ggp.com.
SOURCE: General Growth Properties, Inc.
Senior Director of Corporate Communications, General Growth Properties, Inc.
312.960.6325 - Office
Beverly L. Isom
Director of Communications, City of Atlanta
404.330.6558 - Office
404.886.2334 - Cell
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