ATLANTA — Thousands of curious well-wishers braved driving rain and hecklers Thursday to see the new Underground Atlanta tourist complex, a $142-million attempt to bring night life back to the downtown business district.
"We thought the rain would keep everyone away, but look who's here," said art gallery manager Charmain Guzman as customers streamed into the three-tiered, 12-acre complex of restaurants and stores that is built partly under the city's downtown streets.
Mayor Andrew Young was heckled by advocates for the homeless when he took the stage to officially open the project. But the protesters, who handed out leaflets questioning the city's spending priorities, were booed into silence by the crowd.
Aimed at Suburbanites
Atlanta hopes the complex, which was funded by the city through development bonds and private investment, will not only bring suburban residents back to downtown after dark but also be an incentive to tourists and convention-goers.