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Colony Square project could encroach on, privatize city parkland

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Some neighbors are concerned the city could forfeit public space for private benefit

a blueprint of the park encroachment
A blueprint shows the arc of land North American Properties hopes to obtain.
North American Properties

Some Midtown and Ansley Park neighbors have shared concerns about a developer’s plan to privatize part of a small park next to Colony Square.

The land in question—an 18-foot-wide arc around the Peachtree Circle at 15th Street Triangle—would be converted into an outdoor dining and patio area serving the ground-floor retail component of an office building North American Properties is working with architects to design.

The little park at the corner of Peachtree and 15th streets—punctuated by a fountain—already serves the community as public space where pedestrians can sit and eat after grabbing nosh from a nearby restaurant or food truck.

The land NAP is eyeing includes a tree-shaded walkway that cuts through the block from Peachtree to 15th.

Another concern for neighbors, as a source with knowledge of the project told Curbed Atlanta, is that they believe “NAP doesn’t plan to pay for it.”

The property in question today.
Google Maps
The fountain at the Peachtree Circle at 15th Street Triangle would remain.
Google Maps

NAP spokeswoman Liana Moran said the developer’s plan to encroach on the public land to further the ongoing overhaul of Colony Square is just par for the course, although she did not address questions regarding how, or if, NAP would obtain the land for free.

“This type of request is common through the [Special Administrative Permit] process, and it aligns with the overarching plan for Midtown and Colony Square, which is to embrace and activate the street frontages and connect the development more directly with sidewalks, creating a vibrant, pedestrian-scale, street-level experience,” she said.

Moran added that city approval would be required to make this happen, and the existing tree canopy would not be affected.

Based on renderings obtained by Curbed, it appears NAP’s architects Beyer Blinder Belle and Lord Aeck Sargent are designing the proposed office building as if the land acquisition is a done deal.

The City of Atlanta’s planning department could not be reached for input Thursday and as of press time today. The story will be updated with additional information should it be provided.

North American Properties