South City buys downtown corner for 26-story student housing tower

May 9,2017

Source: Douglas Sams, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Atlanta developer South City Partners bought the corner of John Wesley Dobbsand Piedmont avenues where it wants to develop a 26-story student housing tower along the northern edge of Georgia State University’s downtown campus.

South City, along with a fund from Peachtree Corner-based Wells Real Estate, purchased the nearly 1.5-acre corner for $15 million, according to Fulton County records.

The 690-bed tower could break ground in November, depending on how soon South City Partners can line up an equity partner.

“We are talking with multiple folks,” said Mark Randall, a founding director with the developer.

“The debt markets have been challenging, but if you consider where this project sits and our success with SQ5, I’m confident,” Randall added, referring to the firm’s project Square on Fifth in Midtown’s Tech Square.

South City's proposed downtown tower would stand across from University Commons, the 2,000-bed Georgia State student housing project, and university offices at 75 Piedmont Avenue.

“This would be right in the middle of Georgia State housing,” Randall said.

The building is being designed by The Preston Partnership.

It would be downtown’s third student housing project by a private developer, said Jennifer Ball, vice president of planning and economic development for Central Atlanta Progress.

“The pipeline of student housing looks optimistic with announcements at Turner Field and Underground (Atlanta) potentially going to target student housing,” Ball said. “But, the total bed counts for each of those projects in still up in the air.”

South City expects it could finish the project by August 2019, Randall said.