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Peachtree office makeover in South Midtown moves toward completion

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Tired old office building at Third Street is getting fresh paint and a new lease on life

A spiffy new paint job and demolition of rock walls in front of a 1970s office building on Peachtree Street is beginning to show tangible (and likely positive) changes in South Midtown.

When completed, 715 Peachtree Street will feature fancy new office space, street level retail, and a nice new plaza on Peachtree Street. The project website heralds the 15,000-square-foot plaza as a practical urban oasis to include things like trellis-shaded gathering areas, spruced-up landscaping, and access to a cafe that will serve coffee in the mornings and alcohol in the evenings. Sounds like improvement.

Built in 1972, the 10-story structure served as offices for JC Penney for four decades. Abandoned since 2012, the old office was purchased by Carter for a reported $50 million — chump change given its prominent Peachtree Street address at Third Street.

However, the 351,613-square-foot building needed some serious TLC. Its original design wasn't inviting from the street, with a raised terrace separated from the Peachtree sidewalk by a stone wall. The exterior was yellowed and the limited plantings left the front of the building looking spartan.

Now, with the wall opened up, new plantings, and a more transparent first floor ready for retail, the building could soon welcome new office tenants and neighbors thanks to planned street-front shops and restaurants.

Far from the only bright spot on the block, the lot across the street is being transformed into lilli Midtown, the apartment tower by JPX Works, as the area around the Fox Theatre experiences the growth that's been happening farther north in the neighborhood.