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Midtown Mega-Project Moves Forward, Called 'Doable'

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A team of New York developers is aggressively trying to get a $650 million Midtown mega-project known as "98 14th Street" off the ground. Last month, the group bought the four-acre, former "symphony center" site for a reported $22 million, and they've been actively seeking development partners with ties to the Atlanta market, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reports, behind a paywall. Wood Partners LLC could want a piece of the action; if that name sounds familiars, it's probably because Wood Partners plans to build a 19-story, mixed-use tower on a parking lot next to the Midtown MARTA station. The 98 14th Street group includes Arquitectonica, the architects behind Philips Arena, but one real-estate observer wondered aloud if the rest of the team is a little green when it comes to the volatility of Atlanta's boom-bust market, the newspaper reports. The group has also been in talks with owners of office towers and land adjacent to 98 14th Street. Maybe the new guys are taping the old guard for advice?

Midtown Alliance president and CEO Kevin Green told the newspaper that developers have a green-light to begin site work. The three-tower project's completion is tentatively set for the year 2020. All told, plans call for 1,300 residential units, 90,000 square feet of shops and restaurants and 340 hotel rooms — which Green called a "substantial" but "doable" undertaking for Midtown.

Otherwise, recent talks with city leaders have centered on greater connectivity, both within the project and to its Midtown neighbors. The tallest 98 14th St. tower would climb to 720 feet, making it three feet shorter than the cylindrical Westin Peachtree Plaza and the sixth tallest structure in Atlanta. At the base of those towers, plans call for a grid system with wide sidewalks and parallel parking — a "boulevard feel" meant to foster the retail element. Should agreements with adjacent property owners such as Cousins Properties and Hines come through, we can expect a "Spanish Steps"-inspired stairway connecting to One Atlantic Center, a new road to West Peachtree Street and paths cutting to 15th Street and other sky-rises in the neighborhood.

· 98 14th Street project attracting possible partners [ABC; subscriber content]
· Massive Midtown Project Tweaked For Greater Connectivity [Curbed]
[ABOVE: Rendering via Arguitectonica, Fenuxe.]