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Gaping hole in Atlanta’s urban fabric comes to market near shuttered homeless shelter

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Development site aims to capitalize on cachet of “SoNo” district, where Midtown meets downtown

An empty lot for sale now in downtown Atlanta.
The 1.08-acre lot in question last autumn.
Google Maps

Efforts are ramping up to sell a large Courtland Street corner lot in what marketers describe as Atlanta’s “rapidly developing” SoNo neighborhood.

That’s “south of North Avenue.” And it’s an area ripe for development, given the increasing shortage of developable sites in Midtown and downtown, according to Scott Cullen of commercial real estate services firm JLL, which was recently hired to sell the 505 Courtland property.

“We’ve had our eye on this part of Atlanta for several years,” Cullen said in a release.

Located at the corner of Courtland and Renaissance Parkway, the 1.08-acre lot has been vacant and fenced off for years. It’s about a block north of the former Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter, which shuttered in late 2017 and has attracted other large development concepts since.

SoNo is positioned to capitalize on downtown’s densification and the explosive growth of Midtown—one of “the hottest real estate markets in the Southeastern United States,” where 6 million square feet of office space, 9,300 residential units, 1,850 hotel rooms, and 600,000 square feet of retail has delivered in the past two years alone, by JLL’s count.

Added JLL’s Mark Lindenbaum: “We see this location as extremely strategic, given its walkability to MARTA, Emory University Hospital, and Midtown proper, while also a safe bike or scooter ride to the Atlanta Beltline’s Eastside Trail and downtown.”

Another angle on the property (and flock of Birds) from Courtland Street.
Google Maps

Zoning allows for “a significantly dense development” and mix of uses that could include residential, medical office, and hospitality options, officials said.

We’ve asked for information on the selling price and will update this post should any numbers come. JLL was hired by Drapac Capital Partners to oversee the marketing, developer selection, and sales process, officials said.

The Australian investment firm wisely snatched up acreage around intown Atlanta at post-recession lows. One company leader recently opined to Bisnow that Atlanta’s “urbanization story” is “quite immature” and “in its early days.”

Aerial images of the property provide context.
Remaining photographs courtesy of JLL.

Beginning in 1973, the Courtland Street site became home to McMahan Shoes’s one-level showroom, repair shop, and orthoses lab.

The business uprooted to Decatur in the early 2000s before closing in 2016, Tomorrow’s News Today has reported.

The former shoe proprietor’s building was razed about four years ago, and the lot has been fallow since.