Two years ago, an Old Fourth Ward mixed-use project that had raised eyebrows for its scale in a residential district unveiled a rather unconventional name: Waldo’s, a nod to transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. 

Later in 2019, a groundbreaking party was declared for the 40 Boulevard NE lot, which was soon cleared of trees and a corner grocery store.

And then, not much happened. Aside from an economy-hobbling, global plague.

watermark Looking across the site toward Edgewood Avenue construction and recently completed townhomes.Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Waldo’s goal of fully debuting in 2021 clearly isn’t happening, as the 1.5-arce site near Boulevard’s intersection with Edgewood Avenue's nightlife strip remains quiet today.

But project leaders say the idleness won’t last long. 

Developer Lucror Resources, best known for the adaptive-reuse revival of downtown’s FlatironCity building, still expects to spend $80 million developing Waldo’s Old Fourth Ward into a mix of hotel rooms, office space, retail, and townhomes. 

The planned look of Waldo's Old Fourth Ward, near Boulevard's intersection with Edgewood Avenue. Courtesy of Lucror Resources; renderings, tvsdesign

Peter McGuone, senior vice president with Waldo’s recently hired CBRE leasing team, says site work had been expected to relaunch by now but was delayed by a partial wall collapse at the former Sound Table restaurant and bar building next door in early December—likely caused by a construction mishap at a neighboring lot. Work to repair that Edgewood Avenue building continues. 

Nonetheless, McGuone says, “We’ll be back to work soon on building the below-ground parking and hotel” at Waldo’s. 

That hotel was expected to be the country’s first Motto By Hilton, but lodges under that brand have since opened in Washington D.C. and New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood. 

Atlanta’s 147-room, nine-story Motto—set to include a restaurant, speakeasy, and retail in a courtyard space that connects each facet of the property—is now expected to open in the first quarter of 2023, McGuone says. 

Breakdown of expected Waldo's uses. Courtesy of Lucror Resources

Elsewhere, a row of Daniel Street townhouses is still in the plans, along with a 119,000-square-foot, six-story office building.

The office component, as McGuone notes, will require a prelease of at least 40,000 square feet before construction can start. “And we're talking to prospects currently,” he says.

How timber-built interiors would look. Courtesy of Lucror Resources

Plans call for the office building to be erected with heavy timber, a more environmentally friendly alternative to concrete and steel that lends a vintage feel. It would be just the second wood-boned building of its kind in Atlanta, following Hines’s T3 West Midtown at Atlantic Station.

The project is also expected to include underground parking.

The project's Boulevard frontage. Courtesy of Lucror Resources

Recent Old Fourth Ward news (Urbanize Atlanta) 

• Wall collapses at historic Old Fourth Ward building slated to open as new restaurant (Atlanta Intown) 

Waldo's Old Fourth Ward (site)