Site work has officially begun on a controversial 24-story tower in Midtown's Technology Square. A Georgia Tech spokesperson has confirmed to Curbed Atlanta that a demolition permit for the site of the historic Crum and Forster building was issued last month, and that debris removal began last week and will continue for about three more. The brick-and-arches facade of the structure on the corner of Spring Street and Armstead Place is being saved. But the rear two-thirds (not to mention a couple of smaller buildings and parking lots nearby) are slated to be gobbled up by a potential 695,000 square-foot development for Tech's high performance computer modeling program. The school "will focus on saving the architectural and historical character-defining features on the front facade," spokesperson Matt Nagel said. He said project specifics are "still being defined."
That said, it should add a pretty cool look to the area — the one rendering available shows the aforementioned Crum and Forster facade flanked directly by about six stories of glass and clean, modern space before it gives way to a likeminded 24-story tower.
We won't get too much into the specifics, but the complex is theoretically going to be operated as a type of public-private partnership, with office space and a data center to be split 50-50 between Tech and participating businesses. The school estimates that final design would take place over the next two years, with actual construction starting in 2015 and occupancy in 2017.
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep