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Could Hospital Tower Consume Midtown Parking Lot?

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Maybe you're strange like us. Maybe you've walked/peddled/driven around intown Atlanta and scoffed at its myriad surface parking lots, envisioning a day when commerce and vitality and people might consume these barren, hot gaps. Maybe news of a potential tower replacing one such lot makes your heart leap. Let's call our attention to a surface lot bounded by Spring, 13th and West Peachtree streets, a highly visible site where the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports a hospital tower could rise up to 17 stories.

Northside Hospital has reportedly been in discussions with the property's owner for some time. The project is said to be in design phases by architecture firm Cooper Carry Inc., and it could cost up to $80 million. It would rise in a lion's den of Northside's traditional competition like Emory Healthcare, the newspaper reported.

For Northside, who operates a gargantuan facility near Perimeter Mall, the site has unique appeal. Notes the newspaper: "Midtown offers Northside access to a different, though still affluent, patient base. In Midtown, it can splash its name across the top of a tower overlooking a district filled with big professional service firms and wealthy neighborhoods such as Ansley Park. Midtown is also seeing an influx of young adults who want to live and work near urban amenities."

What say you, Midtowners? Is Northside Hospital a neighbor you'd welcome, should these tower plans pan out? Or do you use this lot — and would eliminating it complicate your life?

· Northside Hospital eyes new Midtown tower [Atlanta Business Chronicle; subscriber]