[Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta]
Development observers breathed a sigh of relief in 2012 when news broke that a cutting-edge, $200-million cancer treatment center would fill the giant weedy lot at the crux of Peachtree Street, Ponce de Leon and North avenues. But after two years of construction — with at least another year to come — more than one Curbed reader has wondered aloud how such a low-rise structure with scant street engagement ever gained approval on this key section of the Midtown Mile, in the shadow of Bank of America Plaza and the Fox Theatre. Nobody's discounting the importance of the Emory Proton Therapy Center, which will use sophisticated machines and subatomic particles to kill cancer cells. Few can grasp the complexities of a project that requires 12-foot-thick concrete walls and some cancer-squashing equipment that's as heavy as passenger airlines. Last month, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that funding for the project's second phase is still being sorted out, which has bumped back the planned opening until January 2017 — a build time that will rival the new Falcons stadium. On a positive note, the 950 onsite workers and Peachtree-facing retail should add a little vibrancy.