The State of Georgia will begin developing a 72-acre Olympic park in downtown Atlanta on a site now occupied largely by distressed residential and commercial properties, despite the protests of residents who would be displaced.
At a news conference last week with Mayor Bill Campbell of Atlanta and Olympic officials, Gov. Zell Miller said he had decided to endorse the plan, which was proposed by the Atlanta Committee for the Olympic Games, the private corporation that will stage the 1996 Olympics.
The park, expected to cost as much as $100 million, would be financed entirely by private contributions.
The proposal has prompted debate since it was announced last month, because there is no plan to relocate the small businesses and an unknown number of low-income residents who would be displaced by the project.
"The details will be resolved," Mr. Campbell said. "Not only the business owners, but the very few people who live in the corridor will be protected and their interests will be discussed with them."
The proposed Olympic village is to be built just north of the park, near the headquarters of Coca-Cola Co.; the Olympic committee headquarters are on the east side of the park.
At the south end is the CNN Center, headquarters of Turner Broadcasting, and venues for Olympic basketball, gymnastics and volleyball.
The plan, first proposed by William Payne, president of the Olympic committee, would create a large area of pavilions and tourist attractions during the Games.