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Kaplan plans 331-unit apartment building along Centennial Olympic Park

March 21,2016

Kaplan’s nearly 3-acre site sits diagonal from the Center for Civil & Human Rights and the Georgia Aquarium.

The developer wants to break ground by the end of the year or early 2017.

“We have met with the city and made it clear that we want a game-changer for downtown,” Kaplan Residential Chairman and CEO Morris Kaplan tells Atlanta Business Chronicle. “We think our project can make a statement — that it will turn some heads.”

Kaplan has hired architect Niles Bolton Associates to design the project. The proposal will soon go before a downtown Development Review Committee.

For the past several years, developers have concentrated most new Atlanta apartment projects in dense urban areas such as Midtown or Buckhead or neighborhoods including the Old Fourth Ward where people can live and work next to the Beltline. The areas are typically in walking distance of transit and near amenities such as shops or restaurants.

More recently, downtown has been luring more apartment development. Atlanta-based Post Properties (NYSE: PPS) just broke ground on a 438-unit apartment building it calls Post Centennial Park — its first project in the heart of downtown in 45 years. The $96 million project will include units that average about 808 square feet and roughly $1,620 a month, the company said.

Another developer, Paces Properties Inc., turned a vacant 20-story downtown office building into an apartment tower with more than 300 units.

Developers are buying into downtown’s potential to generate apartment demand, as Georgia State University enrollment grows and more students want to live in the city after graduation. Land in other parts of intown Atlanta is also becoming more expensive, potentially making downtown a more affordable option for apartment developers in dense urban settings.