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50 Allen Plaza skyscraper project could be back from the dead

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The downtown site was recently sold to a deep-pocketed developer

In renderings here, the eye-catching, bottle-opener design has teased Atlantans for years.
The eye-catching, bottle-opener design has teased Atlantans for years.
LoopNet

A long-stalled, potentially skyline-altering tower project is showing signs of life at a prominent piece of downtown Atlanta property.

The site at 50 Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, which neighbors the Civic Center MARTA stop, was once expected to see the rise of a 45-story tower, comprising the heart of a $2 billion mixed-use development called Allen Plaza.

The aim of the ambitious development was to turn northern downtown into a lively “24-hour city” like sections of New York, as the Atlanta Journal-Constitution once reported.

After the housing market collapsed in the late 2000s, it seemed the skyscraper idea might be forever relegated to the shelf, logged as another unrealized Atlanta pipe dream.

That is, until now.

In May, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported that Regent Partners, which had bought the property for $4.5 million in a foreclosure auction, was in the process of unloading the site to an Australian real estate investment firm called Drapac Capital Partners.

In Atlanta alone, according to the firm’s website, Drapac also owns property on North Avenue, Spring Street, Auburn Avenue, and Courtland Street. More specifically:

  • 129 North Avenue
  • 323 Spring Street
  • 245 Auburn Avenue
  • 505 Courtland Street

The company’s stature, coupled with the healthier state of the real estate market, could indicate potential for the high-rise to actually be built.

On LoopNet—a website where companies market commercial real estate—50 Allen Plaza’s profile was updated just last week, billing the tower now as a 34-story project that could be built in 2020.

A Drapac rep was out of town when Curbed Atlanta reached out this week, unable to weigh in for this article. But Drapac officials definitely understand they’re sitting on an important piece of land with lots of building potential.

As seen from the Connector, the Allen Plaza vision a decade ago, with components that were realized, including a large electronic billboard and the W Atlanta—Downtown.
Emporis

Drapac COO Sebastian Drapac told ABC the company must be patient with the property, which allows for 1.4 million square feet of commercial development, because Atlanta is so rapidly changing—and growing.

Population growth, he said, is the most “potent driver” in the city’s urbanization.