The City of Atlanta’s goal to transform downtown’s 2 Peachtree skyscraper from offices into housing has been making headlines since last fall, when city officials announced plans to purchase the underused building from the State of Georgia.

What hasn’t been clear until recently is that a significant portion of that complex will be a blank canvas for big ideas that aim to lift up downtown visitors, residents, and businesses.

That’s according to Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, which has issued an official Request for Ideas, or RFI, aimed not at developers, contractors, and designers but the general public.

Specifically, Invest Atlanta is asking nonprofits, community and commercial organizations, and regular Atlantans to share ideas for the first five floors of the 2 Peachtree redevelopment project. More than 100,000 square feet of retail and commercial space is expected to be available.

The deadline for submitting ideas via the RFI is June 19.

Invest Atlanta

Invest Atlanta’s overarching goal for 2 Peachtree is to create “a one-of-a-kind destination in Atlanta’s oldest neighborhood” that spurs downtown growth, vibrancy, and inclusivity while supporting local businesses. Ideas for the first five floors that focus on education, art, fitness and health, culture, and commerce will be given priority, per RFI materials.

All ideas should aim to tackle the following bullet points (edited here for length), according to Invest Atlanta:

  • Positive social impact: Build a space that delivers a positive social benefit for Atlanta by cultivating education, art, culture, commerce, equity, health, or other socially beneficial effects. 
  • Flourishing downtown: Utilize the first five floors of 2 Peachtree to improve public space in downtown Atlanta, prioritizing community-facing, active, and creative developments that encourage social interaction, inclusive spaces, and collaboration.
  • Financially sustainable mixed-use development: Contribute to a commercially successful mixed-use development that serves residents, the downtown community, and Atlantans.

Ideas collected through the 2 Peachtree RFI process will be considered as Invest Atlanta compiles the official Request for Proposals, or RFP, for developers later this year. 

Last month, Invest Atlanta issued a Request for Qualifications for converting the 2 Peachtree Street tower and its adjacent sibling building, 14 Marietta Street, into what project leaders are forecasting as a vibrant mix of housing for various incomes and other uses, such as office space and retail. The project is considered by city officials one of downtown’s biggest growth opportunities and a potential model for urban redevelopment.

According to Invest Atlanta, both buildings will be entirely vacated by the end of 2023, setting the stage for redevelopment that's expected to coincide with MARTA's Five Points station overhaul down the block.

The city first announced its intentions in October to purchase 2 Peachtree—a 44-story, 890,000-square-foot landmark tower from 1966—from the State of Georgia and remake it into housing.

Currently occupied by Georgia State University, the seven-story building next door was later added to the project mix, representing another 126,000 square feet of redevelopment opportunities.  

Invest Atlanta

Invest Atlanta purchased both buildings in February for $41.5 million, using an Eastside Tax Allocation District Special Fund Grant and agreeing to hold the properties for the city until a redevelopment partner is picked.

According to RFQ details, developers are being encouraged to show plans that blend almost all potential uses: affordable housing, student housing, market-rate housing, and short-term residential, alongside retail, office, and hospitality uses. (The deadline to respond to the RFQ is June 9.) At minimum, plans should include 200 units for residents earning 80 percent of the area median income or less, according to Invest Atlanta.

The 2 Peachtree tower opened in 1966 as the Southeast’s tallest building, and it remained the tallest in Atlanta until John Portman’s cylindrical Westin Peachtree Plaza surpassed it a decade later. (Previous names included the First National Bank Building and State of Georgia Building.) It’s served as offices for banking and now state government since its inception.

Next door, 14 Marietta is significantly older, dating to 1940 as the original headquarters of First National Bank, prior to the tower’s development. It hasn’t been renovated since 2 Peachtree was completed nearly 60 years ago, according to Invest Atlanta.

What will the next life for those buildings hold? Apparently, your 2 cents could help decided that.


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