A rendering of the Entertainment District at Centennial Yards. (Courtesy Gensler)

A rendering of the Entertainment District at Centennial Yards.

Credit: Courtesy of Gensler

Centennial Yards, the massive $5 billion mixed-use development rising across from Mercedes-Benz Stadium and State Farm Arena, has announced its next phase: “a world-class sports and entertainment district.” 

According to a press release, 8 acres of the property — formerly known as The Gulch — will feature 480,000 square feet of entertainment, retail, and restaurant space, including a hotel. 

The district will also feature a fan gathering plaza, just in time for the 2026 FIFA World Cup matches being held at the stadium. 

Permits are actively being filed with the city and construction of this next phase is set to start in June. The developer’s goal is to have two-thirds of the entire Centennial Yards project complete or under construction by the 2026 World Cup, according to the release

The newly announced plans include:

  • Immersive “Eatertainment” Concept: 3-story, 70,000 square foot building
  • Single-Tenant Entertainment Venue: 4-story 160,000 square foot building
  • Food & Beverage Retail: 2-story 50,000 square foot building
  • Hotel: 14-story, 233-keys
  • Fan Gathering Plaza

According to the release, the design from architectural firm Gensler creates a balance between the surrounding Centennial Olympic Park and towering high-rise buildings and will feature lower-tiered buildings accented by green terraces along various elevations. 

Inspired by Downtown Atlanta’s industrial roots, the Entertainment District will reflect the site’s railroad history with clean lines and flat pedestrian pathways throughout the district.

“We are thrilled to unveil this next phase of Centennial Yards and partner with a world-class design firm like Gensler to provide visitors, residents, and locals with an incredible hub for socializing and entertainment,” said Brian McGowan, President — Centennial Yards Company. “Centennial Yards will truly become the epicenter of entertainment in Atlanta, bringing together people of all ages to enjoy concerts, sporting events, bars, restaurants, and retail stores, all in one place.”

“The new entertainment district is great news for downtown and the City of Atlanta,” said AJ Robinson, President of Central Atlanta Progress and The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District. “It will not only expand our downtown economy, it creates new places for people to gather and experience something new. This adds to what makes the core of our city so unique, building on our current attractions and reflecting the brand of Atlanta,” 

When the Centennial Yards project is complete over the next decade, it will include 4 million square feet of retail, hotels, and office space and another 4 million square feet of apartments.

Currently under construction are the first two ground-up 18-story buildings at Centennial Yards.

In January, construction of the 300-unit apartment building reached street level along Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, marking a milestone for the project. 

The foundation of the 290-room hotel is finished, and its construction is expected to rise to street level in about three months. There is also roughly 30,000 square feet of retail space at the base of the buildings for coffee shops, restaurants, and other stores.

Both towers are expected to be completed by 2025, a year before the World Cup.

Dyana Bagby contributed to this story. 

This story comes to GPB through a reporting partnership with Rough Draft Atlanta