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With a strong 2019 in rearview, Dunwoody aims to build on urban development dreams

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Eager to shed its suburban past, the Perimeter city inked enough deals last year to fill Atlanta’s tallest building, and then some

A rendering of a dense mixed-use community.
The vision for the upcoming, potentially $2 billion High Street project.

In 2019 alone, the rapidly urbanizing Perimeter city that is Dunwoody saw nearly 1.4 million square feet of mixed-use developments, office, and retail space leased within city limits. That’s more space than could fit in Bank of America Plaza, Atlanta’s tallest skyscraper.

Officials expect there’s plenty more in store for 2020, too.

Dunwoody’s economic development czar Michael Starling, who told Curbed Atlanta last year the city had become something of a “hybrid” between urban and suburban, said this week his community is blossoming as one of the region’s “emerging mixed-use districts,” per a city recap.

In 2019, Dunwoody officials gave the go-ahead to four major mixed-use developments that promise new hotel rooms, retail offerings, restaurants, and more, meaning the city’s growth spurt is poised to continue in coming years.

Those projects include the roughly $38 million Perimeter Marketplace and two hotel-anchored mixed-use complexes sited at 11 Ravinia Parkway, where Ashford-Dunwoody Road meets the Interstate 285 Perimeter, and 84 Perimeter Center East.

The former, a GMC Real Estate venture, would deliver a mid-rise hotel surrounded by a 10,500-square-foot restaurant, another two-story restaurant, and more than 40,000 square feet of other retail and food options.

The Perimeter Center East development, from developer JSJ Perimeter, would comprise an 11-story, 160-key boutique hotel at the corner of Ashford-Dunwoody Road and Perimeter Center East, coupled with more than 7,000 square feet for restaurants, more than 5,000 square feet for retail, and a 70,000-square-foot workout club. (Imagine a gym the size of Midtown’s new Whole Foods Market.)

Last year also brought more than 230,000 square feet of new office leases for the city, including plans for a 52,000-square-foot base for Zillow Offers, as well as a slate of upcoming restaurant announcements.

Some of the biggest Dunwoody news to break last year, though, was that of progress at the long-awaited High Street site, where some $2 billion in new development is expected to crop up next door to the city’s MARTA train station.

In November, Boston-based developer GID told Curbed Atlanta that project leaders had enlisted a general contractor for the 40-acre mixed-use project, and that construction on the more than 8 million square feet of offices, retail, residences, and hotel rooms, is on track to break ground this year.

Also on tap for the growing city is an expansion of the already massive State Farm campus, including a second building that would add 670,000 square feet of office space and 50,000 square feet of retail offerings.

And in August, developers Trammell Crow Company and CBRE Global Investors announced the 335,000-square-foot office stack Twelve24 Hammond had topped out and was poised for a 2020 debut.