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Officials will announce airport-area development alliance Friday

ATLANTA — Metro Atlanta government and business leaders will unveil an effort to spur economic development around Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport Friday.

The Atlanta Regional Commission will hold a press conference at 2 p.m. in the airport’s press room to announce the creation of the Atlanta Aerotropolis Alliance. The alliance is an effort to build up the area around Hartsfield-Jackson as an economic force for the Atlanta region.

Aerotropolises are city-like economic centers that are built around airports, said ARC officials in a news release to announce the press conference. Members of the public can attend the press conference, said ARC spokesman Jim Jaquish. The press room is on the third floor of the airport’s atrium.

Participants in the alliance include the airport, the governments from Clayton and Fulton counties, the cities of College Park, Hapeville and East Point, and the Metro Atlanta, Clayton County, South Fulton and Airport Area chambers of commerce. Officials from several of those entities are expected to participate in the press conference, said Jaquish.

Jaquish said businesses near the airport, including Porsche Cars North America and Georgia Power, will also be on hand for the alliance’s unveiling.

Officials from several of those groups are expected to participate in the press conference. Among the participants scheduled to be at the press conference are Clayton County commission Chairman Jeff Turner and College Park Mayor Jack Longino.

Although the airport is run by the City of Atlanta’s Department of Aviation, most of its property is located in Clayton County and it backs up to College Park on its west side.

The idea of an “Aerotropolis” concept designed to promote economic development around the airport has been around for several years. The concept has helped influence economic development efforts in College Park since at least 2006, and several higher-end hotels have been brought in to the city since then.

Clayton County officials have also talked about such a development since early 2008.

There was also legislation introduced by state Rep. Valencia Stovall (D-Ellenwood) last year to create an Aerotroplois Authority.

The bill, which Stovall has said would have given the authority board control over the airport as well as development around it, was passed by the House of Representatives last year. However, it stalled in the Senate last year. It died when the 2013-2014 legislative term ended last week without the Senate taking the bill up again.

Check Saturday’s edition of Clayton News Daily and www.news-daily.com for additional details about the alliance.