Sep 20, 2022 - Real Estate

South Downtown overhaul to see two new high-rise towers

A rendering of people walking on Broad Street on a sunny day with a tall new building behind them
Rendering: Courtesy of Newport RE

The development company that's renovating and reviving a huge chunk of historic South Downtown is forging ahead with plans to turn lifeless places for cars into very tall places for people.

What's happening: Newport RE say it’s filed plans with the city to build two high-rises that will add more than 600 apartments, plus shops and restaurants, to South Downtown.

Why it matters: For decades, the once-bustling historic heart of Downtown has been occupied by government offices and largely devoid of places for people to live.

Details: Along walkable Broad Street, Newport plans to blend an 18-story tower — built on a surface parking lot — with renovated historic storefronts that will include rooftop decks and public plazas.

  • 20% of the building's 350 residential units will be affordable for people making 80% of the area median income, or roughly $54,000 for a single-person household, Newport says. 7,000 square feet of retail will be offered at reduced rates.
  • The second, 21-story building will include 300 units and take the place of a decades-old parking deck at the corner of Forsyth Street and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive near the Sam Nunn Atlanta Federal Center.

Catch up quick: Up to this point, Newport's focused on giving people a place to go by developing retail and office concepts along Mitchell Street and Hotel Row. Now the company is giving people a place to live.

What they're saying: "For this to be a neighborhood, there simply have to be more neighbors," April Stammel, Newport senior vice president, said.

Of note: Newport owns nearly 50 buildings and four acres of surface parking over ten contiguous blocks in the neighborhood.

  • The South Downtown portfolio is the largest collection of historic commercial buildings in the country, Newport says.

Intrigue: Replacing parking lots and decks doesn't mean eliminating parking. Developers will build new parking but bury some spots underground or mask them with the actual buildings.

  • It's a reminder that lenders who bankroll projects aren’t yet sold on the idea of people living car-free, even in transit-rich Downtown.

Timeline: Construction starts next year, Newport says, and should wrap up two years later.

People walk in front of a tall new building in South Downtown
Rendering: Courtesy of Newport RE
An aerial rendering of two new tall residential buildings in South Downtown surrounded by mid-rise historic buildings
Rendering: Courtesy of Newport RE
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