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Newport RE's South Downtown Holdings Under Contract with Braden Fellman Group

July 27, 2023

Newport RE announces its pending sale of the South Downtown portfolio to Braden Fellman Group (BFG). BFG will continue Newport’s vision for the expansive South Downtown project via its purchase of Newport’s 50+ buildings and 6+ acres of surface parking, including Historic Hotel Row, 222 Mitchell, the South Broad Street holdings, the M Rich building, and the HL Green Co building. Historic Hotel Row is the only phase of South Downtown that’s currently complete, and retail openings and signings will continue throughout the year: TydeTate Kitchen opened in April and has already become a neighborhood staple, and Spiller Park Coffee has targeted early Q4 to open its 4th location.

“We believe in this neighborhood wholeheartedly; our vision was right but our timing was off, and we have the highest hopes that South Downtown will continue becoming a cool, historic, downtown neighborhood that Atlanta deserves,” said Newport CEO Olaf Kunkat. “Simply put, the market changes coming out of COVID, prolonged war in Europe, and recent rise in interest rates led Newport and our South Downtown investors needing to reprioritize capital investments. As a result, Newport will only be focused on investment and development opportunities in our primary market of Germany. As for South Downtown, this decision is incredibly hard and disappointing. We are convinced that the project needs to continue under a U.S. developer and are grateful to have found a uniquely qualified team with deep history in Atlanta to assume the entire portfolio with Braden Fellman.”

BFG was founded in 1981 with a vision to breathe new life into Atlanta’s neglected older homes and create a distinctive renting experience unavailable from newer, cookie-cutter properties. For more than four decades, the team has worked to preserve the historic character of some of Atlanta’s oldest neighborhoods amongst the ever-changing face of the city. As a local family-owned company, they are powered by a love for Atlanta and the people who make it home.

“We’re extremely proud of the work we’ve done restoring Historic Hotel Row and setting the stage for South Downtown to be a sought-after destination in our city,” said April Stammel, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Leasing, & Community at Newport. “As part of Newport’s local team that has worked on the ground for the past 6 years, this is incredibly bittersweet. We’ve assembled an amazing portfolio of contiguous historic buildings and vacant land, and I am fully confident this next chapter with Braden Fellman will inject the stability needed to continue pushing the neighborhood forward.”

BFG is set to close on the South Downtown portfolio in Q4 of this year. Immediate plans include continuing to ensure successful openings for Hotel Row’s retail and restaurant tenants and resuming construction at 222 Mitchell to deliver much-needed residential units and a similar robust retail experience to the original plans. More announcements to come soon on future plans and changes for the neighborhood.

“Throughout our history in Atlanta, our focus has been reviving historic structures through preservation and enhancing communities, so the opportunity to work alongside Newport’s Atlanta-based team and execute a similar vision is a natural fit,” said Andrew Braden at BFG. “It’s early in the process but we’re excited about the opportunity to leverage our track record in historic preservation and are inspired by the work Newport started to maintain the rich history of the buildings in South Downtown.”

For more about Braden Fellman Group, visit For more about South Downtown, visit

The largest collection of historic commercial buildings in the country, South Downtown consists of more than 50 buildings and six acres of surface parking positioned for future infill across ten contiguous blocks of Atlanta’s historic downtown. The first renovations began with Historic Hotel Row as a catalyst to launch the project’s long-term vision. Hotel Row was once an early epicenter of travel, business, tourism, and restaurant life within the city and has been transformed to house walkable, grab-and-go food stores, full-service restaurants and bars, boutique shops, and creative office space. Across the street, 222 Mitchell spans a full city block and is the combination of a 1909 brick building and two mid-century modern buildings. Coupling its resurgence of Hotel Row and 222 Mitchell with the revival of a centerpiece of South Broad Street, the South Downtown project aims to add 650 new neighbors and more than a dozen retail and restaurants as part of its first residential buildings. Current storefronts filling Hotel Row, starting to open this year, include local comfort Thai spot TydeTate Kitchen (now open!), Spiller Park, @Twelve80, Liz & Leon’s, and more.

Braden Fellman Group (BFG) is an Atlanta-based commercial real estate, development, and construction firm with operations in Atlanta, GA and Charleston, SC. Most recognized for developing and rehabilitating unique, character-rich properties in Atlanta’s Intown neighborhoods. With roots as a visionary development firm, four decades of steady growth and stability, and guided by a second generation of leadership, BFG is committed to furthering its legacy of success, delivering exceptional projects, and driving positive change in the communities it serves.