Emory University could be becoming the development catalyst for Atlanta’s so-called SoNo district that Georgia State University and Georgia Tech have long been for downtown and Midtown.
Emory has recently been on a roll, scooping up property around the former Peachtree-Pine Homeless Shelter with plans to expand its already massive Midtown campus footprint.
Last month, the institution procured almost an acre of land around the shuttered shelter in the 400 blocks of Peachtree and Courtland streets, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
That $8 million buy comes six months after a $6.2 million purchase, which netted the university 477 Peachtree Street, the former home of Peachtree-Pine.
Emory has said the property could become an “innovation hub” for arts, sciences, and humanities programs, according to the paper.
What could become of the rest of its newly acquired land remains unclear, although Emory officials have said they want to transform the campus into a sprawling “active urban hub,” according to Atlanta’s Department of City Planning.
Those ambitions include, among other developments, the creation of a 3,000-space parking deck, which, at first glance, seems ironic for a densifying urban setting.
But officials say the proposed structure, which is slated to include abundant base-level retail, will allow Emory to consolidate neighboring parking lots.
Doing so, Emory officials hope, would free up those nearby lots for future redevelopment.