Program Overview

WE BELIEVE … that catalytic, positive neighborhood transformation of Atlanta’s historic Westside communities is possible by working with community on strategic funding investments; leveraging additional resources; building community and political will to address systemic issues of racial inequities, poverty and disinvestment; and, ensuring that neighborhood transformation benefits all, especially long-time residents. Our collective vision is grounded in the rich history and legacy of the Westside and the aspirations of its long-standing residents.

Investment Strategy

In 2013, upon signing the stadium deal, Arthur Blank made a $15M promise to invest in the positive transformation of the Westside neighborhoods (English Avenue, Vine City and Castleberry Hill) adjacent to the stadium known as the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund. The original $15 million was committed within the first two years to specific strategic Westside initiatives, primarily investments in workforce, health, and education. In September 2017, Arthur Blank announced an additional $15 million investment into the Westside Neighborhood Prosperity Fund. The Foundation has also committed an additional $9 million to Westside transformation.

Using our Family of Businesses for Good

In addition to the Foundation investments, a critical component of our Westside investment is leveraging Mercedes-Benz Stadium as a force for good. The stadium is serving as an anchor institution that uses its economic activity and physical campus as a community asset. During construction, Arthur Blank made a commitment to ensuring that Westside residents were hired to help build the stadium. At the completion of the stadium, nearly 500 Westside residents (a combination of Westside Works graduates and outside skilled laborers from the Westside) worked on a variety of construction activities to make the stadium a reality. Arthur Blank committed to bring other partners, such as the Mercedes-Benz Stadium corporate sponsors, to help sustain the needed investments in the Westside. Together we have leveraged more than $200 million in other public and private investments into the Westside. We have also started stadium programs like the Westside Ambassadors Program and West Nest to ensure that the stadium continues to be a community asset for the Westside for the long-term.

Investments give preference to projects that:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the overall needs of the neighborhoods;
  • Accelerate quality-of-life improvements, benefitting children and families;
  • Improve the health, education and welfare of residents;
  • Address racial equity, social justice and cultural/historic preservation associated with new residential and commercial development; and
  • Attract new investment, new jobs and new businesses to the neighborhoods.