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No Development, You Say? Plenty of Mixed-Use Is Moving Dirt in Atlanta

September 11, 2023

Driving around the Atlanta metroplex, the casual observer might think the Georgia state bird is the construction crane. According to Cushman & Wakefield, Atlanta retail construction hit a five-year peak in 2022 of 765,000 square feet of new space delivered. The first quarter alone recorded more deliveries than the annual total of each 2020 and 2021.

That pace has not slowed in 2023. The 103,525 square feet delivered in the second quarter brought the first-half total to 205,310 square feet, a 3.8% year-over-year increase. The story is similar in the multifamily sector, where the under-construction pipeline was larger in the first half of 2023 than any other first half since 2000.

Fueling this surge is job growth. The Atlanta metro will see the fourth-highest net migration among major metros in 2023, according to Marcus & Millichap.

Still, the retail supply-demand balance continues to favor developers. Robust demand from retailers attracted to Atlanta’s growth drove availability of space for lease down to only 3.6% at the end of the second quarter, according to Cushman & Wakefield.

Christian Taylor, Cushman & Wakefield director in Atlanta, said economic resilience through the pandemic also is driving the market. “Throughout the pandemic, we had a large population growth, and with that growth comes demand for everything … more housing, more retail, more office space,” said Taylor. “Talking to colleagues and clients in other markets, it was apparent to me that they had very different experiences than we did, and thankfully a lot of our retail and restaurant businesses were able to stay open throughout the pandemic and a lot of us who work in offices every day were able to go back sooner than most markets.”

He added that local and national developers alike have noticed the success of mixed-use projects in the area. These include Avalon, an 86-acre community in suburban Alpharetta, as well as The Battery Atlanta which sits on 19 acres northwest of Atlanta in Cobb County, at the intersection of interstates 75 and 285 next to Truist Park, the home of the MLB’s Atlanta Braves.


Several technology firms have invested in the Atlanta area, including Google, which opened its Southeast headquarters in 2021 in a $530 million project developed by Atlanta-based Selig. The redeveloped, 3.5-acre city block at 1105 West Peachtree features street-level retail, a 31-story office tower anchored by Google, a 64-unit luxury condo tower called 40 West 12th and a boutique food-focused hotel tower known as Epicurean Atlanta. The three towers connect via the one-acre Sky Terrace, a rooftop amenity deck for office tenants, residents and guests with activated green space and skyline views. The office tower’s contemporary design features a 410-foot steel exoskeleton that is clearly visible on the Midtown skyline.

Google opened a Southeast region office at 1105 W. Peachtree in 2022, a project by Selig.

“The development is a positive contribution to the Midtown district’s ever-changing landscape as it continues to densify and become a top destination for companies and people seeking an urban lifestyle,” said Selig chief operating and development officer Steve Baile. “As one of Atlanta’s largest vertical mixed-use communities, we believe it has changed the game for commercial urban design and development in the Southeast.”

With some 15 major projects underway, Midtown has continued to be a magnet for development. The latest example is Rockefeller Group’s July 2023 groundbreaking on 1072 W. Peachtree. It will include Georgia’s fifth-tallest tower — at 60 stories, the first major office tower built in Greater Atlanta since the iconic Bank of America Plaza delivered in 1992 — as well as 6,300 square feet of ground-floor retail, 350 luxury apartments and 224,000 square feet of office. “The development of this mixed-use project will meaningfully elevate the experience of living and working here, and it highlights Rockefeller Group’s perspective on new development and our commitment to the continued growth of Atlanta,” said John Petricola, senior managing director of the Southeast at Rockefeller Group.

Rockefeller Group broke ground in July 2023 on what will be Atlanta’s largest mixed-use complex at 1072 W. Peachtree, featuring Georgia’s fifth-tallest tower at 60 stories.

Atlanta-based Portman Holdings and its residential development division are building another large Midtown project, Spring Quarter, at the corner of Spring Street and 10th Street Northwest. The former Patterson funeral home anchors the project, and Portman head of retail and activation Dotan Zuckerman just finalized a deal with a morning-to-night, chef-driven restaurant to occupy the full 28,000 square feet. The 1928 landmarked building sits on Midtown’s highest natural point and has hosted the funerals of many of Atlanta’s most well-known residents, including author Margaret Mitchell and mayors Ivan Allen Jr. and William Hartsfield.

Spring Quarter in Midtown is anchored by the historical Patterson funeral home and gardens, which will be converted into restaurant and gardens.

Spring Quarter also includes 1020 Spring — a 525,000-square-foot, Class A office tower — and Sora, a 370-unit luxury residential tower with 11,000 square feet of ground-floor retail. Pepper Boxing, an Atlanta-based cardio boxing class operator, was the first retail tenant to be announced, and Sora’s first residential units open this month. The entire project is set for completion in the third quarter of 2025.


Last November, ground broke on the $5 billion Centennial Yards Atlanta, which will transform 50 acres to connect surrounding communities with major sporting and entertainment destinations, including State Farm Arena and Mercedes-Benz Stadium. It also will create several new city blocks with 8 million square feet of retail, entertainment, office, residential and hotel, as well as public open spaces and outdoor gathering spots.

The $5 billion Centennial Yards Atlanta will feature 8 million square feet of retail, entertainment, office, residential and hotel.

The developers are an affiliate of CIM and a group led by Tony Ressler, the billionaire co-founder of Ares and owner of the NBA’s Atlanta Hawks. Several major sporting and entertainment attractions will anchor Centennial Yards, and several MARTA mass transit stations will connect the campus with the rest of the city. Completion is expected to take the better part of a decade.


Lincoln Property Co. is developing the 19-acre Echo Street West at the intersection of Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway and Northside Drive, north of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, Georgia World Congress Center, State Farm Arena, Georgia Tech and the new Westside Park. It also sits on the Westside BeltLine Connector, not far from where Microsoft, Apple and Amazon are building major new facilities. The BeltLine is one of the widest-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the U.S., featuring a network of public parks, multi-use trails, transit and affordable housing along a historical 22-mile railroad corridor looping around the city’s core.

The initial development of Echo Street West will consist of 300,000 square feet of creative office, 50,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 292 multifamily units, the Guardian Studios artist colony, and 3.4 acres of outdoor entertainment and green space. It will include a bar, restaurant and entertainment venue called Westside Motor Lounge, set in three once-vacant automotive repair shops.

The 19-acre Echo Street West will include a bar, restaurant and entertainment venue called Westside Motor Lounge.

Industrial-style architecture by Rios reflects the area’s roots and was inspired by the Kudzu Line railway that ran through the site. Future phases will feature additional office, retail, residential and hotel components.

“We aim to provide an innovative contribution to the transformational real estate development taking place on Atlanta’s Westside,” said Lincoln executive vice president Tony Bartlett. “Our vision was to create a walkable, interconnected village that harnesses the growing pool of tech talent and engages the surrounding communities.”

Also on the Westside, Selig is developing The Works at Chattahoochee, an 80-acre adaptive-reuse project. The multiphase master plan comprises 350,000 square feet of retail and entertainment, 500,000 square feet of office, 500 residences, 200 hotel rooms and 13 acres of green space.

Phase 1, which spans 27 acres, is home to a one-acre green space known as The Camp, a 900-foot linear park named The Spur, 150,000 square feet of creative office and 218,000 square feet of retail and entertainment. More than 50 tenants are open, including a 31-stall food hall called Chattahoochee Food Works, Dr. Scofflaw’s brewery, Fox Bros. Bar-B-Q, Fetch Park, Taste Wine Bar and Market, Your 3rd Spot, Ballard Designs, Brash Coffee Roasters and The Les Mains Nail Bar. The 306-unit apartment community, Westbound at The Works, is nearing completion and will welcome its first residents in October.

The Works hosts more than 300 events annually. Selig is planning the 53-acre Phase 2.

The Works is an 80-acre redevelopment of an industrial park on Atlanta’s Upper Westside.

“Urban infill land is often not utilized to its full potential,” said Selig senior vice president of development Malloy Peterson. “The Works kicked off the revitalization of an existing 20th century industrial park into a vibrant shopping, dining and entertainment hub for the city. As the largest industrial adaptive reuse project in the market, it has paved the way for future innovation and design within urban development.”


Portman is developing Junction at Krog District in the Old Fourth Ward with 130,000 square feet of Class A office, three chef-driven restaurants, balconies overlooking the BeltLine and a 7,000-square-foot public porch that will feature murals and sculptures. The developer expects to complete the project in September 2024. Junction at Krog District is the first BeltLine-fronting new development in The Krog District. Portman recently announced the first restaurant to join the project, a bar-centric, hospitality-driven Italian concept called Yeppa & Co.

Junction at Krog District will feature 130,000 square feet of Class A office, three chef-driven restaurants and a 7,000-square-foot public porch with artworks.

“It is always our priority to seek out best-in-class, local operators that create authentic mixed-use experiences, and it was especially important to do so in a project fronting the BeltLine,” said Zuckerman. Portman has signed a second restaurant lease but hasn’t announced it yet.

Central Perimeter

Farther north, near Perimeter Mall, RocaPoint Partners is developing Campus 244, a 12.8-acre, adaptive-reuse project adjacent to the Dunwoody MARTA station, Interstate 285 and Georgia State Route 400. The initial phase of the walkable, mixed-use campus will include a 150-room boutique hotel and a repurposed, five-story, 380,000-square-foot office building with terraces, breezeways and indoor-outdoor workspaces featuring 16-foot ceilings.

RocaPoint Partners is developing the 12.8-acre, transit-oriented adaptive-reuse Campus 244.

“In recent years, heavy investment in the Central Perimeter market has stimulated job growth and attracted a hub of major Fortune 500 and Fortune 1000 companies from across the Southeast,” said RocaPoint principal Phil Mays. “We’re bringing a dynamic restaurant mix surrounding a central green space that provides an activated sense of place for employees and visitors alike, capitalizing on the opportunity to deliver a unique and totally reimagined transit-oriented campus.”

Office tenants Transportation Insight, a logistics firm, and Insight Global, a staffing agency, as well as and several restaurants opening this year, will occupy more than 300,000 square feet.

Johns Creek

In Johns Creek, a suburb about 30 miles northeast of Atlanta, Toro Development will break ground this year on Medley, a 43-acre project that will include 200,000 square feet of retail, restaurants and entertainment concepts; 900 residential units, a mix of townhomes and luxury apartments; and 110,000 square feet of office.

The 43-acre Medley will include 200,000 square feet of retail, 900 residential units and 110,000 square feet of office.

Toro recently announced the first 11 tenants: Aya Medical Spa, Body20 fitness studio, Cookie Fix, Cru Food & Wine Bar, Fado Irish Pub, Knuckies Hoagies, Lily Sushi Bar, Little Rey, Lucciano’s gelato, Sugarcoat Beauty and Summit Coffee. “We are actively targeting the A player in every category to create a truly special and unique place for the people of Johns Creek,” said Toro vice president of leasing Kimberly Goetz.

At the center of Medley will be a 25,000-square-foot plaza and resort-level concierge, and plans call for around 200 events per year, from outdoor wellness classes and live music to art festivals and watch parties. Toro recently demolished a 350,000-square-foot office building to make way for the project’s pedestrian-friendly streets, retail and outdoor gathering spaces.

For Atlanta native Taylor of Cushman & Wakefield, all this mixed-use development has been an eye-opener. “It’s been really great to watch Atlanta grow and develop in some of these innovative, new ways of using real estate.”

By Ben Johnson

Contributor, Commerce + Communities Today


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