Looking back across 2017, intown Atlanta and its inner suburbs just might have experienced an unprecedented post-recession boom these past few months, with oodles of new projects opening, many starting construction, and many more announced.
With the arrival of Ponce City Market (and Krog), the Atlanta Streetcar, Avalon, and much more, many thought epic 2014 might never be topped.
But then 2017 was like, “Hold my beer ...”
From the ubiquitous mixed-use projects with four floors of apartments above a layer of retail, wrapping a parking deck, to high-rises changing the city’s skyline (and upping the architectural bar), not to mention game-changing stadiums, 2017 seemed to have it all.
Here’s a look back at some of the most significant developments of the year:
SunTrust Park: The Braves officially decamped to Cobb County when baseball season began, and they moved into the sprawling new Battery mixed-use complex. While the season didn’t end (or even really begin) how the team hoped, the stadium had a generally good reception. And The Roxy rocked.
State Farm: Also OTP, the new State Farm corporate campus is transforming Dunwoody near Perimeter Mall. Attached to the MARTA station, one gleaming glass tower is complete, with more still under construction.
New Beltline! The city-altering Atlanta Beltline is often chided for its glacial delivery, but even skeptics would have to acknowledge the project really brought it in 2017.
More than four miles of paved pathway were unveiled (including three miles with the long-awaited Westside Trail) as key acquisitions were inked to help bring the Beltline party toward Buckhead’s PATH400, which celebrated its halfway-finished milestone in January.
Mercedes-Benz Stadium: Of course, the highest-profile opening of the year in Atlanta was the brand new Mercedes-Benz Stadium at the western edge of downtown.
While not everything went to plan during opening weekend and beyond, with the Georgia Dome now completely gone, The Benz will reign supreme in the neighborhood... for at least a few years.
Big things taking shape:
lilli Midtown: Across the street from the Fox Theatre, this luxe apartment building with real architectural integrity—finally!—is topped out, with a model unit offering a glimpse at the posh life for potential tenants. New residents will begin move-ins in February. Worth noting: The project has added more than 20 floors to the Midtown streetscape and not a single parking space.
Icon: While not an example of stunningly over-the-top architecture, Icon is a testament to the market forces driving the Midtown development boom. The tallest residential building to rise in the city since the Great Recession, the project is nearing completion and includes a towering mural by local artist HENSE.
Hanover Buckhead Village: Just a few years ago, Buckhead Village was still a strange array of parking lots, dated strip centers, and stalled construction projects. Now, a steady stream of new apartment towers and retail spaces are changing the game. This year, Hanover Buckhead Village rose in a parking lot next to the historic Buckhead Theatre, singlehandedly shifting the character of Buckhead Triangle.
Big things starting to rise:
CODA: Vertical construction has reached three floors at the eastern edge of the site, as crews work to construct a new office and high-power computing center at Tech Square. When complete in early 2019, the John Portman & Associates project (and, later, its neighbor to the south), will work to fill the gap between Midtown and downtown.
725 Ponce: It’s been a year since demolition crews descended upon Murder Kroger, and in that time, vertical construction has begun on the future 725 Ponce development. When complete, the site will feature a Beltline-adjacent office tower and a reincarnated Kroger.
Colony Square: The rebirth of Midtown’s first major office development has been planned for years now, but construction finally got underway in ’17, beginning with the demolition of a two-story building at the northern end of the site. Look for phased openings of new retail, office, and entertainment components over the next few years.
No2 Opus Place: While construction technically started on this one with a recent groundbreaking, No2 Opus Place will need more momentum before we officially declare it on track. Slated to be Atlanta’s tallest residential building, construction will theoretically continue into 2020.
760 Ralph McGill: Designs for this Beltline-adjacent, mixed-use mega-project were revealed just last week, highlighting how transformative the New City concept could be. With more than 2 million square feet of office, residential, and retail space planned, uniting the Beltline to Historic Fourth Ward Park, the project is understandably drawing a lot of interest.
South Downtown / The Gulch / Underground: Three massive projects proposed in the area around Five Points could collectively be the largest thing to happen in Atlanta ... ever.
With plans for tens-of-millions of square feet of new development and adaptive-reuse, by three very different development teams, expect to see this evolve slowly.
That being said, a certain online retailer could probably kick the area’s evolution into overdrive.