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40 photos: inside Summerhill’s historic commercial strip as redevelopment begins

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In shadow of former Turner Field, rows of neglected structures with huge potential begin to show signs of life.

A photo of buildings in Summerhill near Turner Field. Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

It might be tough to envision, given the collapsed flooring and crumbling walls, but developers say the Georgia Avenue strip in Summerhill could be humming again in a matter of months.

The developer that now controls these roughly four blocks, Carter, is still pursuing permits but plans to launch full construction no later than December, with first tenants opening doors next summer, officials said this week.

On Georgia Avenue, plans call for eight to 10 retail slots, depending upon how one building is divided. Earlier this year, Carter senior vice president David Nelson said deals have been inked with a brewery and a barbecue concept, as negotiations with several other local proprietors were ongoing.

Back then, as now, Nelson couldn’t divulge specific business names.

In any case, as this installment of Visual Journeys illustrates, much work lies ahead, but these properties still shine with inimitable character, despite years of decay as Major League Baseball roared just down the street.

First, a general overview:

Development potential along Georgia Avenue.
via Invest Atlanta

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And now for the “before” version:

Farthest from GSU Stadium, the corner of Georgia Avenue and Terry Street (building No. 85) marks the beginning of the Carter properties that will soon undergo a transformation for the area.
Photos: Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
A look at the artwork on the exteriors of 71 (left), 63, and 59 Georgia Ave.
The current front facade of 85 Georgia Ave. is covered in poetry and graffiti.

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This building on Georgia Ave. will become addresses 60, 66, and 68.
A very white and clean interior for 68 Georgia Ave. complete with small, creepy wall door.
A peek behind the aforementioned small, creepy door.
The current pink interior of 66 Georgia Ave.
Piping attached to the bottom of the second floor inside 60 Georgia Ave.
A window looking out behind 60 Georgia Ave.
The interior of 60 Georgia Ave., currently with a large staircase leading up to a second floor. Developers are uncertain whether this will remain a two-story unit.

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The Georgia State Capitol, Ramada, Westin, Equitable Building and more are seen from across the gold and orange parking lots for the former Turner Field. As part of the initial Carter phase, these lots will soon become office and residential buildings, developers say.
The former Turner Field/current GSU Stadium at the corner of Georgia Avenue and Hank Aaron Drive.

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25 Georgia Ave. marks the end of the Carter-owned project on this side of the street.
The roofless interior of 25 Georgia Ave.
The current empty lot looking back to 39 Georgia Ave. will actually become a new low-rise building at 33 Georgia Ave.

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A look at the side exterior wall of 39 Georgia Ave. with the downtown skyline in the background.
Light filters into the rear interior of 39 Georgia Ave., looking back toward the front of the building.
A hole in the ceiling of the first floor of 39 Georgia Ave. gives a glimpse of the wooden trusses supporting the second-story roof.
The brick wall and steel girder-front interior of 39 Georgia Ave.

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Deer (or antelope?) decorate the front of 59 Georgia Ave.
The brick-walled insides of 59 Georgia Ave. present one of the most finished interior rebuilds at the moment.

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The exterior of 63 Georgia Ave., looking toward GSU Stadium, sports a graffiti face and more artwork provided by Living Walls.
The floor has caved into a section of basement at 63 Georgia Ave.
Old telephones, chairs, televisions, and other junk (treasures?) in the basement of 63 Georgia Ave.
A sweeping view of the basement floor of 63 Georgia Ave.
The main floor interior of 63 Georgia Ave.
A look at more street-mural art along 63 Georgia Ave. (right), looking back toward The Connector.

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Although currently sporting the addresses of 75 and 73, the music note building along Georgia Avenue will become one address, 71.
The right side of 71 Georgia Ave. in its current state includes a tree that has grown through the brick of the back wall.
The exterior right side of 71 Georgia Ave., with amazing old signs.
The rear interior of the left side of 71 Georgia Ave.
The interior of the left side of 71 Georgia Ave.
The building on the far side is 71 Georgia Ave. The parking lots in between 71 and 85 will become outdoor patios for restaurants.
The interior of 85 Georgia Ave., where build-out has begun.
Multiple courtyards behind 85 Georgia Ave. looking back from the far corner toward the building.
Uncovered courtyard space in the rear of 85 Georgia Ave.

And now, below, is the grand vision for the Georgia Avenue component to be known simply as “Summerhill.”

Beyond the old structures, as seen at far right, is a planned three-story loft office building in brick; to the left of that, a two-story retail and loft combo. Both would rise from Turner Field’s southernmost Gold Lot.

Elsewhere, 120 multifamily units (not shown) are planned just behind those buildings on the same block, but tucked away from Georgia Avenue.

The rest of the buildings highlighted below are now expected to start opening as retail and restaurants in summer 2018.

Carter

Meanwhile, in the shadow of what used to be Turner Field’s main entrance, plans are moving forward for a five-story development that could house about 700 college students.

Beyond that, it’s too early to know when the stadium’s remaining asphalt lots will be redeveloped or exactly what will come. Developers have said it could take a decade or more before the full vision is realized, hinging on the physical realities of construction timelines and market demand.

Landing a very large tenant, however, could drastically change the timeline.

Turner Field

755 Hank Aaron Drive SE, Atlanta, GA 30315 404 522 7630 Visit Website