We are back to the Westside for this latest installment of Please Build Here. The feature property is a 6.6 acre parcel sitting at the corner of Northside Drive and 17th Street. It's an awfully large tract of land to be sitting fallow, especially when taking into account its great location in West Midtown. The site sits on the western doorway to Atlantic Station and has a great view of Atlanta's skyline beyond.
The spot might not look that great now sharing a corner with a water treatment plant, a liquor store, and Atlanta's own Swinging Richard's a few doors down, but development is going to circle around this tract- its only a matter of time. The Northside corridor from its juncture at I-75 then south to North Avenue and Marrietta Street is primed for a turnover. Development has been on a steady march west since jumping over the Connector, and the implementation of the BeltLine Path and the Westside Quarry Park in coming years will continue to pull development in that direction.
The no-brainer move seems to be some sort of retail-heavy, mixed-use development. The retail could leverage the retail presence of Atlantic Station and the nearby Target and Ikea as well as the boutique shops a road over on Howell Mill.
However, a more interesting use of the land would be for a major corporate campus. It's a unique situation to have a prominent undeveloped location in an urban setting that still offers many of the characteristics corporations look for when siting major offices. The site is large enough to give a major company a lot of flexibility in designing a campus to spec. Access, always a critical component, is terrific. The site has easy access to the Connector via 17th Street. Midtown and Downtown are easily accessible. Commuters going north up into North Fulton, Cobb and beyond would be able to avoid the Connector all together by cutting up Northside to I-75. Access to I-20 West could also be reached via surface streets. The proximity of Atlantic Station, Midtown and the Northside Corridor would offer ample restaurants and shops to corporate employees. A particularly good fit would be technology company that could take advantage of the close proximity of Georgia Tech. Maybe post-IPO and flush with cash, Facebook will be in need of a Southeast outpost?
It would be a huge boon for Atlanta to draw a new major corporate presence, and this site offers a rare opportunity in an urban setting -- a prominent location with great access and nearby amenities. Anyone know any corporate executives in the market?