Atlanta - -Underground, Off the Ground

As a complex of shops and restaurants where warehouses once stood, Underground Atlanta was meant to be a symbol of the city's new vibrancy when it opened in 1969. Instead, it became a study in urban failure: thieves and rowdy teenagers patrolled abandoned storefronts as shoppers fled to the suburbs. The place was shuttered in 1982.

Now Atlanta is trying again. Nearly 5,000 boosters braved a thunderstorm last week to celebrate the reopening of Underground after a 2 1/2-year renovation that cost $142 million, including $85 million in city-backed bonds. The complex, decorated in turn-of-the-century style, will eventually boast 140 stores,...

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