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Aerotropolis community improvement district looks to grow around Hartsfield-Jackson

Two recently formed groups are joining together to form the Atlanta Aerotropolis community improvement district -- and planning to expand in the area surrounding Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

The Airport West community improvement district (CID) formed in Fulton County in 2014, followed by the Airport South CID formed in Clayton County in 2015. The two will now be managed by one administrative staff under the Atlanta Aerotropolis moniker, said executive director Gerald McDowell at a meeting Tuesday for businesses in the area.

The "aerotropolis" term has been gaining currency among economic development advocates in the airport area.

While the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance is a coalition of businesses that aims to attract more development to the area, the Aerotropolis CID is focused on landscaping and other beautification, road and highway interchange improvements, public safety and improving wayfinding signs around the airport.

Airport West CID program director Kirsten Berry said the airport area is often visitors' first impression of Atlanta. "That's our mission -- to make sure that first impression is the best impression you can have of this city," she said.

The Airport West and Airport South CIDs are two of more than 20 CIDs in Georgia, including in downtown, Midtown, Buckhead, Cumberland, Perimeter and other areas around metro Atlanta.

The Aerotropolis CID administration seeks to gain more businesses to agree to tax themselves to join, and is targeting areas for expansion over the next several years. In order to expand, a majority of property owners representing 75 percent of the value of an area must sign consent forms, then the expansion must be approved by the county tax commissioner and local jurisdictions.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.