It's time to whip up a batch of virtual awards and dole them out to the most deserving people, places and things in the real estate, architecture and neighborhood universes of Atlanta. Yep, it's time for the Second Annual Curbed Awards. Today's topic: most audacious proposals of 2012 ...
GIANT MIDTOWN SPORTSPLEX:
Atlanta's stargazing sports youth need places to bring their major league dreams into fruition. Enter: Odyssey Sports Atlanta's "Sportsplex," a proposed recreational facility in Midtown that would cater to elite athletes with hopes of making pro rosters. The recreational facility would be developed on an industrial site next to Atlantic Station, and would include an Olympic pool, hockey rink, two lacrosse and soccer fields, 10 basketball courts and 11 tennis courts. The proposed site basically sits behind Target and is a stark reminder of what the land beneath AS used to look like. The company says it's in final planning stages for this project.
TIMES SQUARE SOUTH, Y'ALL:
While this cat was technically let out of the proverbial bag last year, buzz for Atlanta's very own Times Square was really energized in 2012. For good reason. Amid the current economic climate (and grueling microclimate it's created in Atlanta real estate), any new office project was big news. Especially one with splash. Seven Oaks Company, helmed by veteran Atlanta office developer Bob Voyles and Legacy Property Group, developer and owner of multiple downtown properties, announced this 350,000 square foot mixed-use development downtown at 285 Marietta Street featuring office, hotel rooms, tourist attractions and retail. The marketing hook for the building (to be designed by Cooper Carry) is that it will have a giant video wall on its facade. The developers are talking up the idea that this video wall — combined with downtown attractions like the World of Coke, The Georgia Aquarium and College Football Hall of Fame — will create a Times Square-like district in Atlanta, and attract hip, "Gen Y companies and their young workforce." The wind is certainly in these developer's faces (they'll likely need a majority of the office space to be pre-leased to get project financing), but the fact that people are even considering a new downtown development is a very positive sign.
INMAN PARK'S GAME-CHANGER:
The development team behind the proposed 280 Elizabeth Street project — which would transform the commercial heart of Inman Park — cleared a major hurdle this year, winning approval from one of the city's toughest audiences: the Inman Park Neighborhood Association. And then it cleared several more. Slated to bring just over 200 apartments and nearly 40,000 square feet of retail space, 280 Elizabeth is being developed in a collaboration between South City Partners (helmed by Novare and Wood Partners multifamily veterans) and JPX, LLC, an entity controlled by Jarel Portman (yes, of those Portmans). Developers have agreed to give the development a unique architectural design with five different facades to help the structure's street frontages blend into the various corridors it will face on the corner property. Plans call for a green corridor that will bisect the buildings, activating the pond on the site and potentially creating a "green alley" for some of the retail space. A project of this scope has of course been controversial.