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Midtown planning leaders suggest pedestrian-friendly tweaks to tower projects

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The high-rise evolution of West Peachtree Street continues

A rendering of the mixed-use tower project proposed for West Peachtree Street.
The taller proposal that emerged this week.
The Hanover Company, via Midtown Alliance

While the presentation on a long-awaited, 46-story tower project was scrapped from the agenda, Tuesday’s Midtown Development Review Committee meeting did move forward two potentially skyline-altering proposals.

During their final meeting of 2019, DRC board members reviewed presentations for and gave recommendations to two projects that could wind up making Midtown a bit taller and denser.

At 1230 West Peachtree, across the street from the Arts Center MARTA stop, The Hanover Company aims to erect a 40-story mixed-use tower fronting the planned extension of 15th Street, according to a Midtown Alliance recap of the meeting.

If realized, the development would produce 8,600 square feet of ground-level retail beneath 258,000 square feet of office space and 328 market-rate apartments.

With the DRC’s go-ahead, the developer is eyeing a 2021 groundbreaking. (The timing coincides with the 15th Street expansion project.)

The DRC ultimately commended the design team for its blueprints, but the board also suggested a few tweaks related to street-level changes and pedestrian connectivity.

They requested the Hanover project meet the same streetscape standards as neighboring developments and recommended better pedestrian access—as well as public art and greenery—around the 15th Street link.

A rendering shows a glassy, segmented tower with wood accents.
An early vision for Hub on Campus.
Core Campus, via Midtown Alliance

Tuesday’s assembly also guided forward a student housing project at 960 Spring Street, a short walk west of the Midtown MARTA station.

Chicago-based developer Core Campus is leading the charge on the residential venture, which is slated to feature nearly 800 beds in a 20-story tower directly across the street from two other student housing developments—The Mark, which is under construction, and University House.

Dubbed “Hub on Campus,” the project would feature 5,600 square feet of ground-level retail offerings fronting Spring Street.

The DRC, as it is wont to do, urged the Hub on Campus design team to rework elements related to pedestrian connectivity.

More on the specifics, per the Midtown Alliance post:

  • Retail entrances should be re-oriented to face the public sidewalk, planting strips in front of storefront windows should be minimized and the internal floor slab for the retail spaces should be designed for maximum flexibility for future tenants.
  • Green screening on the north façade was also recommended to mitigate the negative impact of the blank wall of the parking garage, as seen from both Spring and 10th streets.
  • Landscaping and a lockable gate were recommended on the western edge of the site to provide additional screening and ensure that public safety is not compromised.

The project site is currently home to nightclub Opium Atlanta.

According to Fulton County property records, the club’s owner, Flesh & Soul Enterprises, LLC, still owns the property.

A timeline for the student housing project was not provided, and Core Campus is expected to present revised plans in 2020.