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They Made It Happen

The West End CID grew out of the vision of Atlanta City Council Member Cleta Winslow and the leadership of WEMC Economic Development Chair, Charles Williams.  

Their persistence and dedication over a 3 year period to ensure that the CID was formed is truly noteworthy.  The Executive Committee can’t thank them enough for making this a reality for the WE community. 

Committee Members - Pete Haley, Gwen Sans, Leonte Benton



A Community Improvement District (CID) is a defined area of non-residential properties, whose owners choose to pay an additional tax or fee. The additional revenue is dedicated to services and improvements within the district’s boundaries. These districts typically fund projects and services that the business community thinks may not be adequately covered in the existing tax revenues, such as cleaning streets, providing security, making capital improvements, construction of pedestrian and streetscape enhancements, and marketing the area. CID services are supplemental to those already provided by the municipality.  Other names used are: business improvement area (BIA), business revitalization zone (BRZ), special services area (SSA), or special improvement district (SID), and business improvement district (BID).



The first CID type was the Bloor West Village Business Improvement Area, established in Toronto in 1970 as an initiative by local private business. The first in the United States was the Downtown Development District in New Orleans, established in 1974. There are now over 1,200 across the country with CID certificates. Other countries with CID type districts include Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, Jamaica, Serbia, Albania, Germany, Ireland, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.



The steps for creating a CID varies from one jurisdiction to another.  The three basic steps for creating a CID in the United States are as follows:

  • A number of businesses in the area petition the local government to create the CID.

  • The local government determines that a majority of businesses want the CID.

  • The local government enacts legislation creating the CID. Prior to this occurring, state legislatures need to grant local units the authority to create CIDs.

  • Management - The governance of a CID is the responsibility of a board composed of some combination of property owners, businesses, and government officials. The management of a CID is generally the job of a paid executive director.



  • Aerotropolis Atlanta CID - Creating an economically strong, safe, attractive and vibrant community to raise the collective value of commercial properties as a destination for new businesses, residents and visitors.


  • Town Center CID - transportation infrastructure, safety improvements, beautification and other projects






  • Gwinnett Place CID - renewing Gwinnett Place, improving infrastructure / revitalizing its economy. From collecting illegal signs, operating daily community patrols to planning for transportation enhancements and crafting redevelopment strategies


  • Footprint - includes commercial and industrial property south of I-20 and includes properties along Lee Street, Ralph David Abernathy Boulevard, White Street, and Donnelly Street.


  • How It Worked - Commercial property owners agreed to invest in the WE CID by voluntarily increasing their property taxes in support of economic development, project planning, and infrastructure enhancements.


  • Initial Property Owners Involved - HJ Russell, Selig Enterprises, HT Group (West End Mall), Willie Watkins Mortuary, Wells Fargo, McDonald’s Corporation and Elexis Realty, to name a few.


  • Councilmembers Cleta Winslow, Andre Dickens, Michael Julian Bond, Kwanza Hall, Keisha Lance Bottoms Supporters Who Donated Financially and Council President Ceasar Mitchell. 


  • Important Partnership - The Atlanta University Center Consortium has partnered with the WE CID from the beginning to expand and enhance its security camera network among other initiatives.


  • Types of Initiatives Considered for Funding - public safety, landscaping, litter control, etc. in the historic community.

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