Even after nearly three years, plans to bring "Times Square South" to downtown Atlanta remain alive and well, for the most part. In October 2011, Seven Oaks Company and Legacy Property Group announced their dreams of building a retail and office tower with huge electronic billboards at 285 Marietta St., a property across the street from the soon-to-open College Football Hall of Fame that's currently being used for auxiliary parking at a nearby hotel. While that announcement has long since faded from headlines, Seven Oaks' Bob Voyles says the project still has life. "The financing and capital markets for commercial office buildings right now are such that they need to have a pretty substantial pre-lease in order for a building like this to go forward," Voyles told Curbed Atlanta. "We're out actively talking to people but we don't have any signed deals for the space."
Voyles declined to spill the beans as far as potential occupants he's spoken with. He did say that his team is generally focused on "entertainment-oriented tenants," using local mega-companies Turner and CNN as examples. The developer also said that, despite the already lengthy time lapse, three things are working in the project's favor: a stellar design concept, a patient owner and a "market that's continuing to move in our direction." "All of those things bode well," Voyles said, "but it would not be prudent to go forward with the construction of a project until you've taken some of the element of risk out."
If it comes to fruition, "Times Square South" would be a big get for the burgeoning Luckie-Marietta District, which currently has at least a couple of new hotels in the works. The aforementioned College Football Hall of Fame and the National Center for Civil and Human Rights have joined a tourism roster that includes the Georgia Aquarium, World of Coke and Centennial Olympic Park. "Times Square South" may end up being a tourist trap like its NYC inspiration, but what's the harm in bringing a little electricity to the area, right?
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep
[ABOVE: All images courtesy Seven Oaks Company and Legacy Property Group.]