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ATLANTA-Locally based Coca-Cola Co. has hired Jerde Partnership International of Los Angeles to master plan a 20-acre Downtown site the company and city leaders hope will revitalize the central business district.

City staffers confirm to GlobeSt.com the California-based global architectural firm, founded by Jon Jerde 25 years ago, will develop conceptual drawings for the planned World of Coca-Cola and the Georgia Aquarium attractions north of Centennial Olympic Park and near the Atlantic Station mixed-use development. Jerde’s contract price was not disclosed.

Coca-Cola hasn’t decided which architectural firm will design the two attractions. The firm also hasn’t selected a developer for the projects, tentatively scheduled to open in 2005.

Coca-Cola is donating nine acres for the Aquarium. The soft drink firm is working with the Marcus Foundation Inc., whose chairman, Home Depot founder Bernard Marcus, has pledged $200 million for the project.

In a previous prepared statement, Marcus said the venture will be “an aquarium of the 23rd century with no boundaries–the next definition of aquarium.” He said the project would be “entrepreneurial, like the Home Depot.”

Among Jerde-designed ventures are the Bellagio and Fremont Street Experience, both in Las Vegas; the 1984 Olympics site in Los Angeles; the Mall of America in Minneapolis; Canal City Hakata in Japan; Beursplein in Rotterdam; and The Gateway in Salt Lake City.

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