Giant south downtown project taking shape
German real estate company Newport US RE has an agreement to buy south downtown Atlanta’s 222 Mitchell Street building, a hulking eyesore that could be re-imagined as one piece of a sweeping redevelopment spanning multiple city blocks.
Newport US RE wants to stitch together and master plan numerous south downtown properties from Underground Atlanta westward toward 222 Mitchell, according to people familiar with the discussions.
It may also have several parking lots in the area under contract, those sources said.
Newport includes principals who helped redevelop the former Sears, Roebuck & Co. warehouse on Ponce de Leon Avenue.
Its plans are coming together just a few months after the March 2017 sale of Underground Atlanta, a struggling downtown mall that never reached its potential as a tourist draw for the city. It’s set to become a mix of retail, apartments and student housing, according to a proposal from developer WRS Inc.
Newport’s master plan of six to eight blocks including Peachtree, Broad and Forsyth Streets could complement Underground Atlanta and have an equally powerful effect on restoring a forgotten but historic part of Atlanta. The neighborhood is filled with the brick, stone and terracotta buildings that more than 100 years ago housed the city’s garment district and a thriving, eclectic collection of stores and shops.
“We are talking about the commercial beginnings of the city,” said Jennifer Ball, a vice president with Central Atlanta Progress.
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