While it’s easy for development wonks to drool over activity in crane-studded areas such as Midtown, major real estate projects abound across metro Atlanta right now.
This year, expect progress with colossal adaptive-reuse projects, skyline-altering new construction, and, in some cases, a hybrid of the two. The future promises an Atlanta that’s taller, denser, and, ideally, more vibrant.
Below are a few projects worth keeping on your radar as so much heavy machinery does its thing in 2020.
A mixed-use district evolving in West Midtown, the Star Metals complex features modern architecture that just oozes originality. Now under construction, the 14-story Star Metals Offices stack is expected to open on Howell Mill Road later this year.
Across the street, 409 apartments (above, at left) are projected to be tenant-ready this summer.
Little news has emerged lately about the Westside project that could deliver $400 million of new development in just its first 27-acre phase, apart from a groundbreaking that was scheduled for November. Still, its importance is tough to overstate.
Sited just south of Bellwood Quarry and the under-construction Westside Park—primed to become the city’s largest public green space—Quarry Yards is slated to bring retail, apartments, and a 300-key hotel. All said and done, the community, in development by baseball star-turned developer Mark Teixeira’s Urban Creek Partners, would straddle the Proctor Creek Greenway and neighbor the Beltline’s Westside Trail.
Unlike its much anticipated neighbor project, No. 2 Opus Place, the colossal mixed-use development Midtown Union is undergoing bona fide construction.
Sited at the corner of Midtown’s 17th and Spring streets, the development promises more than 600,000 square feet of office space within a 26-story tower, an 18-floor residential building with 355 apartments atop eight levels of parking, a newly announced 12-story hotel, and 30,000 square feet of retail. Kind of a big deal for a section of town that’s long been marred by surface parking.
The north side of Atlanta’s Interstate 285 Perimeter is on fire—development wise, that is—and Doraville is no exception. Spearheaded by the Integral Group, Assembly, a mini-city that’s expected to grow from a former General Motors plant site, is just one example of the area’s rapid urbanization.
Expect 165 acres of housing, office space, restaurants and retail, and entertainment options eventually. (The film hub Third Rail Studios was completed in the first phase, along with an office component.) This year, a food hall by Paces Properties and an Alamo Drafthouse Cinema—a Texas-based movie theater company—should start to materialize, with openings expected in early 2021.
Progress has been sluggish, but the future holds much promise for this former Kirkwood rail yard. Owned by Atomic Entertainment, a film production group doubling as real estate developers, the project is now called the Pratt-Pullman District.
The more than $100 million overhaul of the 27-acre site is expected to be part movie studio, part live-work-play space. Atomic head Adam Rosenfelt told Curbed Atlanta in November that Alliance Residential is taking over part of the property, with plans to build three apartment buildings—with some affordable units—that could be move-in ready by early 2022.
Norfolk Southern HQ
Under construction since March, railroad giant Norfolk Southern’s potentially $575 million Midtown headquarters is rumored to open later this year.
Though holding your breath isn’t advisable, this Cousins Properties project is sure to make a mark on the subdistrict’s skyline and landscape. Plans call for a glassy, two-tower building spanning some 750,000 square feet, 13,000 square feet of retail—with a “food hall-style dining facility”—sprawling green spaces on rooftops and at street-level, and a 24/7 fitness center. Officials have previously said it’s all slated to open in mid-2021.
King Memorial MARTA TOD
At long last, this Grant Park transit-oriented development seems primed to break ground next to the King Memorial MARTA train station.
The more than $60 million project by the development team of Place Properties and Russell New Urban Development would comprise 300 new apartments—100 of which would be earmarked as “affordable” units—and 10,000 square feet of new retail space where underutilized surface parking exists today.
Expect serious signs of progress at the site across the street from the Dunwoody MARTA Station and catty-corner to Dunwoody’s massive State Farm campus later this year.
The potentially $2 billion High Street project, if realized, would deliver a roughly 8 million-square-foot mixed-use destination, comprised of 400,000 square feet of restaurants and retail, 635,000 square feet of high-end office space, 1,500 apartments, and a 400-key hotel. Also, a public park.
760 Ralph McGill
Proposed by the minds behind Poncey-Highland’s 725 Ponce office block and the “Beltline Kroger” beneath it, this Old Fourth Ward venture would bring serious density to the Eastside Trail—on a scale not yet seen with new construction.
Sited at 760 Ralph McGill Boulevard, the New City Properties project is moving forward and scheduled to break ground soon. Expect 1,100 residences, more than a million square feet of office space, 200,000 square feet of retail offerings, and a 75-key boutique hotel.
Developer Carter, recently known for its ongoing overhaul of Atlanta’s Summerhill neighborhood, is also currently transforming the 1.1 million-square-foot former cotton warehouse built by Coca-Cola cofounder Asa Candler.
Officials hope The MET will ultimately evolve into the “cultural engine of Atlanta” for locals. The complex has already claimed myriad creative tenants, such as the once-displaced art gallery Mammal Gallery. Expect award-winning barbecue at the site this spring.
Under construction in West Midtown, developer S.J. Collins’s Interlock mixed-use venture would bring some $450 million of new construction to the area.
Scheduled to begin opening this fall, it’s ultimately expected to feature roughly 200,000 square feet of office space, 100,000 square feet of retail, 350 apartments, and 70 single-family homes. Preliminary work has also begun on a 161-key boutique hotel that would ascend roughly 13 stories. Puttshack, an indoor putt-putt concept from London, has signed on to open at Interlock this year.
Marred by leadership shakeups and squabbles with the City of Atlanta, the redevelopment of former U.S. Army base Fort McPherson is somewhat up in the air, but it’s still a key site to watch.
Now called Fort Mac, the Southwest Atlanta property—at least, the 145 acres not owned by film mogul Tyler Perry—is poised to come alive with a mix of residences, retail, arts spaces, and more. The potentially $25 million first phase could kick off construction this year.