Like other city observers, we anticipated 2014 would be a banner year for Atlanta developments, and it has not disappointed. With the completion (or initial debut) of one blockbuster project after the next, both infrastructural and architectural, Atlanta is bucking the trend as a "National Anomaly" as we charge out of the Recession. While many seismic, city-altering projects are still in construction — SunTrust Park, the Falcons Stadium, Inman Quarter, etc. — we've put together a list of the 10 biggest projects that have (or will have) opened by Dec. 31 in the metro area. In no particular order of importance:Read More
The Biggest Development Debuts of Atlanta's Epic 2014
1. National Center For Civil and Human Rights
Located between the World of Coke and the Georgia Aquarium, the Center has been hailed as “a feather in the cap” of the burgeoning cultural precinct. A resource for locals and an attraction for visitors, the Center houses an expansive collection in a well-designed building by Freelon Architects.
2. Zuckerman Museum of Art
While off the radar of many Atlantans, the Zuckerman Museum at Kennesaw State University marked the first opening of its type in decades at a Georgia university. With a new place for art, designed by local firm Stanley Beaman Sears, KSU is coming into its own as a major institution for higher learning.
3. I-85 / GA 400 Interchange Fly-Overs
When Ga. Highway 400 was constructed to meet Interstate 85 in the 1990s, the roads were intended to have fly-over connections. Unbuilt for two decades, the completion of the project meant drivers are no longer forced to exit the highway and use clogged surface streets. And the neighborhood gained a trail and some green space which will ultimately connect to the soon-to-open Path400.
4. Buckhead Atlanta
A mecca for high-end retail and restaurants, OliverMcmillan met much success with the completion of what had been started as the “Streets of Buckhead” before the recession. While definitely hoity-toity, it is a complete departure from the old, scuzzy Buckhead Village area.
5. Ponce City Market
Atlanta, GA 30308
The much anticipated transformation of the former Sears building / City Hall East has brought new life to Poncey-Highlands at the Beltline. With offices, retail and residences, the project is not entirely complete, but has seen its first tenants fill the building which had been vacant for years. A success for preservationist and urbanists alike, even those outside the city have taken note.
6. Atlanta Streetcar
Mayor Reed says the streetcar will be open by the end of the year, and it’s not like we have any reason to doubt that will happen. Regardless of the project’s seemingly endless delays and naysayers, the opening of Atlanta’s first streetcar line in more than sixty years demonstrates an interest in bolstering transit options and will connect tourist destinations at Centennial Olympic Park and the MLK, Jr. Historic site.
Alpharetta, GA 30009
Atlanta’s love-affair with mixed-use manifests in the suburbs with the opening of Avalon in Alpharetta: Atlantic Station for the OTP crowd. If prices for the apartments are any indication, interest is high in this manufactured slice of urbanity off of Ga. Highway 400.
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8. College Football Hall of Fame
In a case of Atlanta successfully wooing institutions away from other cities, the College Football Hall of Fame relocated from Indiana in time for the kickoff of football season. The building, designed by local firm tvsdesign, is filled with interactive experiences for fans, and adds another lure to the area around Centennial Olympic Park.
9. Krog Street Market
Atlanta, GA 30307
A community retail space located off of the Beltline, the opening of Krog Street Market was just another example of the limitless potential of derelict buildings in neighborhoods which needed some love and an influx of capital that the Beltline is bringing. While only recently opened, with tons of dining and retail options, the funky market has breathed fresh life into the south side of Inman Park.
10. Buckhead MARTA Station Bridge
Atlanta, GA 30326
When MARTA released station usage numbers for the year, Buckhead station showed a staggering growth of 27-percent in ridership. Much of the increase can be attributed to the $32 million station entrance which was constructed to bridge Ga. Highway 400 between Tower Place and Stratford Road. More than just allowing easier access to MARTA, the bridge connects two long-isolated areas which are experiencing an explosion of development, with five high-rises in various stages of completion.