[All images by Weingarten Realty via Atlanta Business Chronicle.]
In the last days of 2015, permits were issued for the redevelopment of the Atlanta Civic Center, paving the way for the site's old buildings to be relegated to history. While dirt won't move until sometime later this year, the procurement of permits, as reported by the Atlanta Business Chronicle, marks a major milestone in the transformation of the underutilized, city-owned facility into a major mixed-use center. The project, announced earlier this year, will bring residences, retail, office space and a grocery store to Piedmont Avenue in the western reaches of Old Fourth Ward, adjacent to north downtown.
The project is being developed by Weingarten, a Texas-based firm who specializes in suburban shopping centers. The first scheme released was a cause of some concern, with a decidedly suburban vibe complete with surface parking lots. A second crack at it resulted in some parking deposited into decks and incrementally more density. Still, the proposal seems more an enclave unto itself than something integrated into the urban fabric of the area.
Despite the uncertainty of the final outcome, the overall news is heartening in a part of town that, while close to development, has missed out on investment to this point. It marks the departure of the City of Atlanta from a significant piece of property, bringing in money from the sale, adding land to the tax rosters and reducing carrying costs. Permits issued will allow for demolition and site work to commence.
With any luck, the design will be tweaked to better contribute to the development of a walkable neighborhood in the area and not just a self-contained site.
· Weingarten files plans for Civic Center redevelopment [Atlanta Business Chronicle; subscriber]
· The Civic Center's Replacement could Look Like This [Curbed Atlanta]
· Civic Center Development Could be a $300M Whopper [Curbed Atlanta]