Whether you applaud Atlantic Station as a shining example of brownfield transformation, or lambaste it as a Sims-style, glorified outdoor mall, there's no denying the 138-acre development has changed significantly in the last couple of years. (Need proof? Go there and simply listen). With the BB&T Atlanta Open tennis tourney — a success by all accounts — setting up shop this week, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution took an in-depth look at where Midtown's ultimate adaptive reuse site stands. Nearly eight years since its debut and two years since North American Properties and CBRE Global Investors acquired key portions of Atlantic Station, things are looking up. And significant physical changes could be in the pipeline.
Mark Toro, managing partner in Atlanta of North American Properties, told the AJC that Atlantic Station's controllers are pondering what was unthinkable three years ago: new construction. Specifically, 13 unused acres at the complex could be ripe for more apartments, hotels, office space or even an entertainment venue, the newspaper reports. Since the new partners took over, retail occupancy has climbed about 20 percent to 90 percent occupied. Two office towers that were less than 50 percent occupied in 2010 are on pace to be at least 80 percent full by year's end, the AJC reported.
So how much developable space is left? Zoning is in place for as much as 6 million square feet of development — in other words, four Lenox Square malls. Toro told the newspaper that neither the scope nor the type of development has been determined, but the idea mill is starting to rumble.