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Midtown Atlanta’s transformative 2018, in review

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The thriving subdistrict witnessed the delivery of 14 major developments this year alone

Midtown in August.
Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

With 2019 peeking over the horizon, it’s high time to take stock of the changes Atlanta has undergone this year, and there’s no better place to start than Midtown.

While nearly every neighborhood in the city has experienced substantial growth, Midtown is the epitome of intown development action.

The subdistrict has witnessed the rise of scooter culture, secured the planned headquarters of a Fortune 500 railroad company, and, among other changes, seen 14 major developments delivered, according to Midtown Alliance.

Below are a few 2018 Midtown happenings of note.

JPX Works, teamed up with joint venture partner Mariner Group and equity partners ELV & Associates, finished lilli Midtown this past summer, marking what we consider 2018’s best new high-rise in metro Atlanta.

Standing just down the street from The Fox Theatre, the 25-story tower boats 147 high-end apartments and swanky rooftop amenities.

A glassy, blue, L-shaped office tower is under construction and surrounded by cranes.
Coda completed vertical construction in September.
Sean Keenan, Curbed Atlanta

A couple of blocks away, on West Peachtree Street, a trio of John Portman and Associates-designed office towers—two under construction, one planned—promise to make this Midtown corridor quite a bit taller, denser, and more active.

The 21-story computing tower Coda wrapped up vertical construction in September. Meanwhile, the 21-story Anthem office project—the future base of the Fortune 500 health benefits company—is lagging a bit behind schedule, with a 2020 delivery expected. And a 23-floor building at West Peachtree’s 700 block is in the planning stages.

And who can forget the No2 Opus Place project, the tallest proposed skyscraper in Atlanta?

For a while No. 2 Opus Place’s fate seemed uncertain, but this year the stalled condo project began progressing again, and it recently earned a key thumbs-up from the city to include a major commercial component.

But Midtown’s 2018 evolution included more than tall buildings.

Midtown’s MARTA station plaza received an artistic makeover that enhances pedestrians’ experience with seating and occasional live music.

According to Midtown Alliance’s 2018 roundup, MARTA counted almost 180,000 entrances and exits at that transit station in October alone.

Midtown’s spruced-up MARTA station.
Midtown Alliance

Midtown leaders have labored to ensure the growth of the area isn’t unsightly—save for the construction fencing and ubiquitous cranes.

A hotel planned for the corner of Peachtree Street and Ponce de Leon Avenue received a major design overhaul after neighbors and local leaders complained about the bland initial blueprints.

Since January, the Midtown Development Review Committee has assessed 17 major projects, aiming to ensure they were designed in a way that gels with the aesthetic and goals of the neighborhood.

Midtown has also been reaping benefits from the recently approved $2.5 billion More MARTA program, which expanded local and express bus services and increased frequency.

But Midtown’s seemingly unending transformation isn’t all about creation. There have been—and will continue to be—some losses, too.

A recognizable Ponce facade, now for sale.

Take, for example, a cozy, quirky retail strip a few blocks west of Ponce City Market, which just went up for sale for $2 million.

The property has long been an artsy home for antique stores and other small businesses, but its new price tag, according to the listing agent, likely indicates new development would need to mow the old structures down.

Should that pan out, it would be just one of many costs associated with being such a rapidly developing neighborhood.

As recent momentum suggests, 2019 is sure to have much more in store for Midtown.