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Long-stalled Midtown project on Peachtree Street could get financial kickstart

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City is exploring options to put Emory Proton Therapy Center back on track

The Fox Theatre, Georgian Terrace Hotel, and Ponce de Leon Apartment Building form an imposing historic presence at the prominent intersection of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue.

But just beyond the historic buildings, a construction fence hides a massive excavation and half-finished building destined to be a high-tech medical research facility.

Someday.

Emory’s Proton Therapy Center, planned since 2012 and under construction for more than three years, has been bogged down with delays. The facility is slated to cost upwards of $200 million, and now the city is exploring options to provide some sort of funding source to get the project kicked in to high gear, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Today, city officials are meeting to determine how to best move the project forward. A bond referendum is being explored; another option would be to offer the developer tax abatements through Invest Atlanta.

While it would seem that Emory University — a well respected and affluent institution — was a good fit for the prime real estate, the protracted process to fill the block has left many questioning what’s going on. The project has been plagued by financing woes and concerns that the low-rise, insular building is far from the best use of the prominent Peachtree site.

The dormant site earlier this year.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta

Back in October, the developer indicated that the gaping hole on Peachtree Street would be filled with retail spaces, bringing vibrancy to the block between North and Linden Avenues.

But with plans still a mystery, and a timeline of completion putting an earliest finish date of summer 2017, be prepared for construction to drag on throughout next year.

The site in summer 2015.
Curbed Atlanta