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Midtown rehab projects aim to spruce up public spaces

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Renderings: Two proposals recently went before the neighborhood’s development review committee

A rendering of the redeveloped corner of Peachtree and 17th streets.
Parkside Partners recently acquired three buildings at the corner of Peachtree and 17th streets.
Midtown Alliance

Midtown’s crusade to beautify and enliven its public spaces seems indefatigable, and two new projects seek to continue the trend at prominent blocks in the booming subdistrict.

On Wednesday, the Midtown Development Review Committee published renderings of proposals to spruce up a three-building block at the corner of Peachtree and 17th streets, as well as the bottom of the AT&T tower on West Peachtree Street.

The first project, which would see the adaptive reuse of 1389, 1401, and 1409 Peachtree Street, is spearheaded by Parkside Partners, with design help from ASD|SKY.

“[The team] plans to give the buildings a more contemporary facelift and provide active public space across the front, intended to function as an outdoor living room,” according to a release by the Midtown Alliance.

The DRC suggested Parkside and ASD|SKY take a closer look at how their proposed blueprints could impact traffic congestion on Peachtree Street and in neighboring Ansley Park, and to refine their trellis structure (illustrated above) “to serve as an enhancement to the project rather than a distracting element.”

The development team showed their proposal to Ansley Park neighbors on Wednesday night, and the DRC encouraged them to air it before NPU-E, too.

The base of the AT&T building could get quite an upgrade.
Midtown Alliance

The second new proposal DRC assessed calls for a makeover of the 49-story AT&T building’s lower levels, at 675 West Peachtree Street.

“The first phase focuses on interior updates to the lobby and reimagining the expansive, multi-level plaza that fronts on West Peachtree,” according to the Midtown Alliance.

New York-based Ichan Enterprises owns the space, although CBRE is in charge of its reimagining. CBRE recruited HGOR for landscaping and IDEA|SPAN interior design.

The DRC was “generally supportive” of the upgrade plans for the plaza, although the committee suggested adding “more landscape elements and natural materials to soften the hard edges of the vent enclosures for the MARTA tunnel, which spans the length of the plaza below grade.”

Additionally, DRC leaders said they think stationing retail anchors in the “vast plaza”—whether temporary or permanent tenants—could be a good way to attract passersby and woo Atlanta visitors.

The committee cited New York City’s Bryant Park as a good example of strategic kiosk placement as a means to spur activity.

Elsewhere in Midtown, myriad place-making efforts are underway.

The 10th Street Bridge, for instance, is being primed for a primping, plus upgrades to make the bridge friendlier for alternative forms of transportation. Nearby, the aesthetic boost at Midtown MARTA Station is drawing rave reviews.

And in April, another “complete streets” initiative kicked off in Midtown, with a goal of beautifying and improving public spaces on 5th Street.

AT&T Tower

675 W Peachtree St NE, Atlanta, GA 30308