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Old Fourth Ward’s Boulevard could see new condo, hotel tower

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Project could transform the southern edge of Atlanta Medical Center along Highland Avenue

For a long time, Boulevard — a street stretching from Ponce de Leon Avenue, past Grant Park, south to the gates of the Federal Penitentiary — has had a spotty reputation.

But investment creeping eastward from downtown and westward from the Beltline, in conjunction with community-boosting efforts like Yo Boulevard!, is helping to change that.

And now, developers are planning to make a large-scale statement about Boulevard’s attractiveness.

According to Bisnow, Atlanta-based Nazar Holdings is attempting to obtain permission to bring a mixed-use development to 274 Boulevard. According to architect Peter Drey, design is in the early stages for a 300-unit condo building and 200-room hotel, all atop streetfront retail.

The project would sit in front of 444 Highland, a nondescript student housing and office tower that’s stood next to Atlanta Medical Center since 1961. If the proposed hotel and condo were to be high-rise, they could offer spectacular views of downtown’s skyline.

The site sits just a block from the Freedom Parkway trail, which connects to the Beltline, the John Portman Boulevard cycle track leading to Centennial Olympic Park, and the Stone Mountain trail, meaning residents and guests would have a quick non-vehicular connection to many hotspots in the city.

Adding to the connectivity, the adjacent stretch of Boulevard is even slated for complete street treatment as part of an initiative to upgrade infrastructure, meaning this area could be one of the most bikeable in the city.

Planning is still ongoing, and no dates have been announced for when the project could start. But Drey says renderings for the project should be available in the coming weeks.