MARTA riders at the Bankhead station and visitors to the recently unveiled Proctor Creek Greenway have likely noticed the fence-wraps and other overt marketing that suggests something big is afoot.
That something is Quarry Yards, a substantial two-part development in Grove Park that aims to consume some 70 acres, with an initial phase expected to cost $400 million alone.
Backed by former Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees star Mark Teixeira, a longtime investor in the area, Quarry Yards has launched a website in recent weeks and ramped up commercial marketing efforts in preparation for physical changes at the site that should begin this month, officials tell Curbed Atlanta.
Like its neighbor to the north, the under-construction Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry, and the nearby Atlanta Beltline Westside Trail, Quarry Yards has potential to fundamentally change how Atlantans experience this part of the city, its backers say.
“We’re listening, we’re adapting, making sure it fits the needs of the community,” said Sharon Goldmacher, president and CEO of communications 21, a firm representing the Urban Creek Partners project. “But at the same time, it really will expand the boundaries of what people think of as Atlanta.”
This week, Goldmacher provided updates as to where the project stands, a few months since the concept’s unveiling, as a push to lease initial buildings heats up.
Located on Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway next to the Bankhead MARTA Station, the project’s first phase will take about 27 of the 70 total acres. Zoning allows for upwards of 850 new residential units (renderings indicate apartments) and a 300-room hotel, plus nearly 600,000 square feet of offices and a retail component.
Immediately to the west, the second phase’s site is elevated, allowing for what Goldmacher described as expansive skyline views.
For now, about four industrial buildings stand across the site, formerly used for asphalt equipment and other machinery. At least one of them could be spared and transformed into eateries and shops. (Beginning July 23, a painting project will add a large project logo to one corrugated metal structure, with more art to come).
Elsewhere, Proctor Creek slices though the property, and Goldmacher said developers are intent on capitalizing on that “with restaurant and retail right along the water, because it’s very rare here in Atlanta. Not much happens on the Chattahoochee [River] from a development perspective.”
Also on the topic of nature, Urban Creek Partners expects to announce a partnership soon with an outdoor recreation company to host photography classes, bicycling workshops, mountain-biking excursions, and other events to help familiarize Atlantans with the Proctor Creek project and the area in general, Goldmacher said.
This summer, commercial real estate group CBRE is focusing efforts on leasing Quarry Yards’s class A office spaces and adaptive-reuse opportunities. Its success in landing tenants will determine if a groundbreaking comes late this year or sometime early next, said Goldmacher.
Teixeira and his co-developers at Urban Creek have been cobbling together properties for nearly a decade in the area, and Goldmacher said they now own about 90 percent of land required to make both Quarry Yards phases happen, with some outparcels still being assembled. She described the role of Texiera, who lives in Connecticut but has strong Atlanta ties dating back to his Georgia Tech baseball days, as “intimately involved,” visiting monthly for meetings with his team.
“They’ve been in the community, talking to the neighbors, and they’ve been listening,” Goldmacher said. “They’ve been changing designs based on conversations they’ve had, going about it the right way in terms of being inclusionary.”
- Quarry Yards [website]