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2006 Annual Report

Revitalizing Sweet Auburn

Billy K. Glaze and Egbert L.J. Perry
Site Manager Billy K. Glaze, left, and Developer Egbert L.J. Perry of the Integral Group inspect progress at the Renaissance Walk Project in Atlanta's historic Sweet Auburn district.

Renaissance Walk is the latest step in the renewal of a culturally important neighborhood.

When it opens in the fall of 2007, Renaissance Walk will mark the latest step in the rejuvenation of Atlanta's Sweet Auburn historic district. Bank of America has worked with this community since the early 1990s, initially investing more than $20 million and using its direct development capabilities to build 125 residential units — a catalyst for the rebirth of the neighborhood.

Designated a National Historic Landmark in 1976, Auburn Avenue is home to the Martin Luther King Jr. historic site and birthplace. The area was dubbed Sweet Auburn because it was one of the few places that provided opportunities to blacks. African-Americans concentrated many new businesses, social organizations and churches in Sweet Auburn, contributing to Atlanta's rise as a major metropolitan center of the New South.

Eventually, the area fell victim to urban sprawl and a cycle of abandonment. Yet Atlanta demanded urban living in a revitalized downtown. Another recent effort was the 2004 Dynamic Metals Lofts project, created with the Historic District Development Corporation. With $9.3 million in investment and financing from Bank of America, and its direct development services, the project built 48 residential units and retail condominiums in the district. The award-winning project was also the first environmental cleanup done under Georgia's new Brownfields law.

The $48 million Renaissance Walk development will create 159 residential and retail units, secure parking and an Interpretive Center for the history of Sweet Auburn and Atlanta's African-American community. Bank of America provided $34 million in financing through its client The Integral Group, which leads a financial syndicate and public-private partnership.

The bank's Neighborhood Excellence Initiative also gave a $200,000 grant to Samaritan House of Atlanta Inc., which helps the district's homeless. Philanthropy, sponsorships and Team Bank of America volunteer programs round out the bank's commitment to Sweet Auburn and the communities the bank serves around the country.

Next: Opportunities in Community Development
Anne M. Finucane, Chief Marketing Officer
Anne M. Finucane, Chief Marketing Officer
Opportunities in Community Development Bank of America is dedicated to nurturing endangered communities and sustaining vibrant ones. We work with our partners — both private developers and nonprofit community groups — to create economic growth. >>