Real Estate Notebook: Big Beltline development may grow; Parkside goes suburban – Atlanta Business Chronicle
An already giant mixed-use project proposed along the Atlanta Beltline may get even larger.
The planned development next to the Historic Fourth Ward Park, Eastside Trail and Ponce City Market, would now include up to 1,100 residential units and 1.1-million-square-feet of office space. The new specs retained initial plans for 200,000-square-feet of retail and boutique hotel.
The redevelopment of 760 Ralph McGill Blvd., a longtime operations center for Georgia Power, is large enough to be filed as a Development of Regional Impact, or DRI. The process triggers the Atlanta Regional Commission to get involved to prepare for the development’s effect on local traffic and infrastructure.
The DRI typically reflects a project’s maximum density for an area, but it doesn’t necessarily mean it will be developed to that scale.
New City LLC is the developer. It’s led by Jim Irwin, a former principal with Jamestown, the real estate company behind Ponce City Market — a catalyst for new investment and development in Old Fourth Ward.
New City originally unveiled plans for its new $750 million project in December, with features such as terracing green roofs and an elevated walkway into Historic Fourth Ward Park. It was going to have just two 12-story office buildings and at least 700 residential units.
Its new DRI filing, however, reflects key changes such as the additional office space. The modifications stem New City recently acquiring an additional 1.1 acres next to its development. It paid about $4.9 million for the property at 750 Ralph McGill Blvd.
It bought the site from Live Oak Realty Investments, which had zoned the site for a 16-story tower and 20,000 square feet of commercial space. Irwin said New City and its partners realized they needed control of the property to preserve the ambitions they had for the development.
“It allows us to build something similar in a better location that fits with the walkable, urban architecture and street-level retail that we are trying to create,” Irwin told Atlanta Business Chronicle on March 15.
The additional office space also indicates how much interest the project is receiving from companies seeking office space along the Beltline. It’s worth noting Jamestown had to keep adding office space to keep up with demand from tenants. Time will tell if New City benefits from the same dynamic.
The project is still in the middle of its rezoning process. The Atlanta office of Perkins + Will is the master planner.
Parkside goes suburban
The popularity of loft-office projects is spreading to the Atlanta suburbs.
Atlanta developer Parkside Partners is converting four older low-rise office buildings in Technology Park, the business park in Peachtree Corners that’s been home to suburban tech, manufacturing and distribution companies for decades.
Parkside Partners will convert 125,000 square feet of office and warehouse space built in 1972. It was formerly used by Honeywell International Inc.
The buildings are located at 125 Technology Parkway.
Brock Hudgins Architects is designing the project, which includes 90,000 to 100,000 square feet of creative loft office space, with exposed brick, high ceilings and a 1-acre amenity park called The Quad.
It will also have access to the Peachtree Corners Tech Park Trail, an 11.5-mile multi-use trail linking Tech Park to the city’s new retail and housing development. The 8-acre project is called Bureau.
Parkside Partners is already known for its loft office conversions across Atlanta. In the city, the projects offer tenants alternatives to standard glass office towers, which dot the skyline from Buckhead to downtown.
The projects are relatively new to the suburbs, but could give tenants in cities such as Peachtree Corners, Roswell and Alpharetta similar intown loft-office features at a more affordable price.
Suburban office tenants may also like the idea of keeping their workplace outside the city so that their employees can avoid the long commute intown. It will also be interesting to see if loft-offices catch on in suburban cities that are filling their downtowns with new housing, restaurants and bars and linking those amenities to trails. If so, the projects may create new competition for landlords of aging low-and-mid-rise buildings that remain tucked away in traditional suburban office parks.
$500,000 Midtown condos
A Midtown parking lot once slated to be apartments for empty-nesters is now planned as $500,000 condos.
Dezhu U.S., a subsidiary of a Chinese developer, wants to build the five-story project at Juniper and 5th streets. (See related story, Page 1A) The 150-unit development would have condos ranging from $500,000 to $600,000. Initial site work is underway.
Dezhu recently secured a $6 million land acquisition loan from BridgeInvest, a lender that specializes in short-term commercial real estate debt. Dezhu is replacing Southeast Capital Cos. as the site’s developer. Southeast Capital was planning to turn the vacant two-acre parking lot into apartments.
Dezhu sees an opportunity to find a niche with the project because of a lack of intown condos in the $500,000 price range, said Alex Horn, a managing partner with Bridgeinvest.
Dezhu does not yet have construction financing to start the project. However, it could seek a construction loan or proceed with the project by using its own equity. Smith Dalia Architects is designing the condo building.
ON THE RECORD
Newell Brands Inc. has leased 60,402 square feet with at Morgan Falls Office Park. The five-building office complex is at 7840 Roswell Road in Sandy Springs. Garett Backman, manager of Morgan Falls Office owner, REO Fund 2 LLC, and Transwestern’s Jeff Taylor brokered the lease. Newell Brands is a global marketer of consumer and commercial products. Its brands include Yankee Candle, Rubbermaid, and Sharpie. Newell Brands will occupy almost all of Building 100 at Morgan Falls Office Park.Jessica Doyle, one of Atlanta real estate’s top producers over the past decade, has joined Colliers International. Doyle will be a senior vice president with Colliers, where she will help lead the landlord services group. She will also focus on business development. Doyle was formerly Southeast U.S. leasing director at John Hancock Real Estate, where she oversaw a 4.5-million-square-foot portfolio including 1100 Peachtree and Phipps Tower. At Colliers, she will represent ownership of office projects including Peachtree Center’s Marquis I and II, Overlook I and Cumberland Center. Doyle has become one of the Atlanta market’s most recognizable names in the landlord business. She began her career after college and broke into the real estate business with prominent Atlanta firm Ackerman & Co.New plans are emerging for a long-sought after project at MARTA’s King Memorial station. Plans were filed with Atlanta for a 297-unit apartment project at 240 Grant St. — about 100 units less than initial plans. In March 2017, MARTA announced a joint venture with Place Properties and H. J. Russell & Co. for a $51.3 million transit-oriented project (TOD) on a 4.4-acre surface parking lot on the southside of the King Memorial station. The project was to have 400 apartments (including 80 affordable units) and 10,000 square feet of retail, MARTA said at the time. It’s unclear what the plan is now. MARTA wouldn’t elaborate on the project status or when it could break ground. “We are currently working with our development partner to complete due diligence and finalize the scope of the project,” said MARTA spokeswoman Stephany Fisher in an email to Atlanta Business Chronicle. “Once this is complete, we’ll need to go back before the Board to get approval on any changes, including unit count, after which point we’ll have a clearer picture on the construction schedule.” A project at the King Memorial station has been in the works for at least five years.