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Midtown Tower Tenants Say Issues Abound; Official Explains

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Several residents at 77 12th, the apartment component of the 12th & Midtown development, say a flood-inducing busted pipe was only the most publicized example of numerous, ongoing issues in the building. A member of the tower's development group — which recently sold the property — acknowledged the issues but said they can be par for the course when delivering a new building. The tower opened last year as part of Daniel Corporation and Selig Enterprises' grand vision for 12th & Midtown, a massive mixed-use project to include several towers, retail, restaurant and office space. The 77 12th tower was leased out quickly and initially drew rave reviews — but all may not be well in Midtown.
The first tipster actually reached out to Curbed Atlanta before the pipe burst on Labor Day, flooding dozens of apartments and forcing some residents to walk up 23 flights of stairs to get home. The concerned resident called 77 12th "a total lemon of a building," referencing frequent maintenance problems, "non-functional" elevators (a recurring theme) and "repeated water and power outages." "When you contemplate calling the front desk before leaving work to find out if the elevators are currently working," the concerned tenant wrote, "there's a problem." A second emailer called the building a "Dumpster fire" that "wears like a mid-century built glass house." Two separate commenters on a Curbed post that merely linked to the AJC's coverage of the Labor Day Leak referenced spiking rents. They dubbed 77 12th "an absolute mess" and called the management team "inexperienced." But such is the nature of the Internet, right?

Steve Baile is the senior vice president of Daniel Corporation, one of 12th & Midtown's developers. The 330-unit 77 12th building was sold earlier this summer for $121 million to a Florida investor named John Joyce, but Baile wanted to speak on its behalf to address the previously detailed complaints. He said, in essence, that the issues are all connected to power problems — 77 12th, he said, is located at the "tail end of a grid for Georgia Power, so when something does go wrong we're affected almost immediately." That problem is being addressed, he said.

Baile also said the building's retail tenants were "drawing too much power" during peak hours and shutting down breakers, a problem that has been fixed by tripling the size of a transformer. Some of the problems, Baile admitted, have actually been driven by the property's leasing success: "We weren't anticipating to have 200-something people living in the building before all the floors were delivered."

Six days before the pipe burst inside 77 12th, the Urban Land Institute named the tower a "Project of the Year" finalist for the Southeast region, touting its unprecedented leasing success as part of a much more ambitious project. With competition like Buckhead Atlanta, the Center for Civil and Human Rights and the College Football Hall of Fame, it probably doesn't have much of a shot to win regardless — but if no one's really happy with it, should it have been included in the first place?

— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep

· Dozens of Midtown apartments damaged by flooding [AJC]
· Which 'Project of Year' Finalist Should Be Tops In Atlanta? [Curbed]
· Florida Investor Buys Landmark Atlanta Apartment Tower for $121 Million [Skyline Views]