It’s hard to ignore the swell of renewed interest in the City’s historic core of South Downtown. As the original “terminus” of Atlanta, South Downtown evokes the City’s beginnings and now its future. Fueled by several large-scale projects, South Downtown is poised to undergo enormous transformation in the coming years.
From catalytic projects like CIM’s Centennial Yards or Newport US RE’s 6-block redevelopment, a reimagined Underground Atlanta or an innovative biotech hub, the South Downtown development pipeline alone represents over $6.4 billion in potential investment, once fully complete.
Plans for the next five years include over 1,800 housing units and 1.5 million sq. ft. in commercial space. This significant, private investment is coupled with planned, public investment in MARTA’s Five Points Station, a bus rapid transit line to Summerhill, and other surrounding rights-of-way to deliver a more connected, walkable, and vibrant historic district.
Castleberry Hill is a funky, historic, mixed-use district with a burgeoning artist population who occupy much of its residential lofts and galleries. Castleberry Hill is listed among the National Register of Historic places and represents the most complete warehouse district in Atlanta. That’s why it’s no surprise that this neighborhood and all its character continue to draw investment interest from a variety of uses. Castleberry Park, south of Mercedes Benz Stadium, includes a 200-room Reverb Hotel by Hard Rock along with 130 apartments.
Development continues up Northside Drive, with the completion of Phase 1 of Herndon Square, including 70 units of senior, affordable housing. Just east of the site, planning has begun for Phase 1 of Science Square, a unique public-private partnership with Georgia Tech to bring a mixed-use, innovation-anchored development to the site formally known as Technology Enterprise Park.
Located in the heart of Downtown, the historic Fairlie Poplar district includes the largest concentrated collection of commercial and office buildings in Atlanta from the late 19th and early 20th centuries. The neighborhood’s compact street grid also makes it one of the most walkable areas in the whole city making it an attractive target for new, residential development with over 1,000 units in the pipeline and another 835 student beds.
In addition, the Peachtree Center area boasts direct access to transit and a strong concentration of Class A commercial buildings. New additions to this stretch of Peachtree Street include luxury, multi-family housing and reimagined office space.
Upgrades to the City of Atlanta’s Broad Street Boardwalk are underway, improving upon the outdoor seating for the adjacent restaurants and spaces for special events. Woodruff Park – a destination for students, residents, and office workers alike – has undergone a significant revitalization over the last number of years. Plans are underway to improve the Park’s accessibility, including provisions to better accommodate special event traffic like food trucks.
A neighborhood with a powerful legacy, Sweet Auburn continues to hold true to its roots as new investment flows in. Mission-driven organizations have found their home in restored buildings– both at 458/460 Edgewood (Community of Hospitality, Inc.) and the Christian Education Building (Wheat Street Charitable Foundation), with a host of similarly situated community projects are underway.
100 Edgewood undergoing a conversion from office to residential to accommodate 284 multi-family units in 2024. Big Bethel AME Church – in partnership with The Benoit Group – are advancing a 325 unit multi-family housing development. Restoration of the historic Prince Hall Masons building and ground up projects like “Front Porch at Sweet Auburn” will both preserve the neighborhood’s legacy, while also making room for new businesses to thrive at affordable, and sustainable rates.
Georgia State University continues to drive investment, from improvements underway at Hurt Park to the planned renovation of the historic Bell Building into a “Student Success Center.” The University will open their GSU Convocation Center in August 2022. Demand for on-campus housing continues as “Reflections Student Housing” opens in August 2022 and provide 740 beds of student housing. In total, there around over 1,500 student housing units under construction or in the pipeline for Downtown.
The SoNo neighborhood has experienced a wave of new investment interest in both large and small projects. The neighborhood enjoys direct transit access via two heavy rail stations, as well as convenient interstate access to the Downtown Connector – all within a half a mile of both Georgia Tech and Georgia State University. Such accessibility has attracted a host of users - from multi-family housing to commercial and medical office, with a host of cultural and retail establishments in between.
The iconic Bank of America Plaza – totaling over 1.35 million square feet of Class A office space- traded hands in early 2022. The new owners have plans to launch a $50 million capital improvements program a complete overhaul of the lobby, development of an on-site restaurant, and 100,000 square feet of customizable, flexible office suites.
Key sites such as the Atlanta Civic Center remain a significant opportunity for Downtown. The Atlanta Housing Authority are exploring private-public partnerships to deliver a mixed-use development on the site. “The Stitch” is a proposed transformational investment that aims to reclaim approximately 14 acres of new urban greenspace atop a new, ¾ mile platform spanning the I-75/I-85 Downtown Connector between the Civic Center MARTA Center at West Peachtree Street and Piedmont Avenue. The project has been awarded a U.S. Department of Transportation RAISE grant to conduct a robust planning process for the project.
Home to many of Atlanta’s thriving tourism and hospitality assets, the Centennial Park District is bound to offer something for all ages and experiences. As both leisure and business travel rebounds, the District is well positioned to capture new and returning visitors through its unique offerings. The Georgia Aquarium recently completed a $100 million expansion for a state-of-the-art shark and marine predator exhibit. Club Wyndham Resorts is opening a 207-room property in June 2022 overlooking Centennial Park. Another 2,000 hotel keys are under construction or planned.
In addition to our strong visitor assets, the District added a host of new residents over the last few years with the additions of Post Centennial (438 units) and Generations Atlanta (336 units).
The Georgia World Congress Center Authority campus is undergoing significant improvements. Construction of a new, 1,000-key convention hotel is underway, to be completed in 2024. Similarly, an improved pedestrian mall opened in early 2022, greatly improving connectivity for visitors throughout the Campus. The $25 million renovation of Centennial Olympic Park was completed in 2019.