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Officials: In ATL, Mega-Developments are on the Rebound

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"Atlanta's economic growth cycles tend to reward developers who recognize emerging demand sectors and needed conveniences — then act boldly." That statement can be attributed to promotional materials for an upcoming meeting of the Real Estate Investment Advisory Council, and so can this one: "GM Doraville and Tech Square North are the newest examples." Development observers might not think of Doraville or the western flanks of Midtown when considering upcoming mega-developments in Atlanta. But the REIAC posits that the impact of redevelopments at the former GM plant, and former surface parking lots in Midtown, could rival more publicized projects like Buckhead Atlanta and Ponce City Market. They'll meet Thursday in Buckhead to discuss this, with a meeting headlined: "Atlanta's New Mega-Developments: GM Doraville and Midtown's Tech Square." An event preview gives details that make the "mega-development" claims sound more legit.

It wasn't all that long ago that Technology Square was a dismal collection of surface parking lots. Last year, the multi-block, award-wining, pedestrian-oriented development celebrated its 10th anniversary, but it sounds as if Tech Square is only getting started. According to the REIAC materials, several developers are planning "seven high-rise towers with 2 million square feet and a variety of uses" just east of the Connector, between 5th and 10th streets. "This quickly emerging 'live-work-play-study-invent' neighborhood is an outgrowth of Atlanta's surging in-town tech sector and the desire among affluent young professionals for exciting urban living," the materials state.

Certainly, that tally would include projects such as University House and a $70 million, 230-unit tower billed as "Tech Square Tower (the Entrepreneur Dorm)" that's under construction on Spring Street. Lest we forget, a few blocks south, the 24-story tower and complex envisioned where the historic Crum and Forster building once stood. The 695,000-square-foot development, if it happens, would be home to Georgia Tech's high performance computer modeling program.

Another highlight of Thursday's meeting will focus on a mega-development that's as barely ITP as barely ITP gets. Developer Egbert Perry of the Integral Group is expected to share his vision for the GM Doraville redevelopment (and its hoped-for impact) for the first time in a public forum. The infill site, the meeting materials state, is 20 percent larger than Atlantic Station (dang!), adding: "The GM Doraville redevelopment has enormous possibilities and will dramatically change the I-285 / Peachtree Industrial corridor."

[ABOVE: The under-construction "Tech Square Tower (the Entrepreneur Dorm)." Rendering: Invest Atlanta]

· Atlanta's New Mega Developments [REIAC]
· Georgia Tech marks the 10th anniversary of Technology Square [Saporta Report]
· City Helping to Fund 'Entrepreneur Dorm' Near Tech Square [Curbed Atlanta]