An office-conversion project that city officials believe can add vibrancy and more residents to downtown Atlanta while becoming a model for urban redevelopment has taken a key step forward.
The Invest Atlanta Board during its monthly meeting Thursday approved a development team—an LLC called Two Peachtree Partners—to lead the conversion of former office skyscraper 2 Peachtree Street into a mix of affordable housing and commercial space.
The move allows City of Atlanta officials and Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, to start negotiating terms of the adaptive-reuse project, which could be a significant win in the city’s quest to pack on more attainable housing options as prices balloon.
The vote comes after a six-month search that saw would-be developers submit proposals that were vetted and scored by Invest Atlanta based on their ability to bring the city’s vision for the building to fruition.
Priority went to proposals that would meet LEED and WELL-certified standards while cohesively working in a mix of housing for all income levels throughout the property. Bonus points went to ideas that would provide opportunities for local minority and female business, according to an announcement from Mayor Andre Dickens’ office.
Dickens called the selection of Two Peachtree Partners a “major milestone” in the project, which first came to light in fall 2022. In a separate announcement, Atlanta-based developer The Integral Group says Two Peachtree Partners is a joint venture between their company, The Atlantic Companies, T. Dallas Smith & Company, and Underground Atlanta owners Lalani Ventures.
“The transformation of 2 Peachtree Street is potentially our most ambitious affordable housing undertaking, providing connectivity between housing units and transit while breathing new life into downtown,” Dickens said in a prepared statement.
The city first announced its intentions in October 2022 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. A seven-story building occupied by Georgia State University next door was later added to the project mix, representing another 126,000 square feet of redevelopment opportunity.
Invest Atlanta bought 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 was picked.
The tower conversion is slated to add at least 200 new housing units within a few steps of MARTA’s Five Points station and Woodruff Park.
Project leaders formally asked developers in May to present plans for 2 Peachtree that would blend almost all potential uses: affordable housing, student housing, market-rate housing, and short-term residential, alongside retail, office, and hospitality uses. Those plans were to include rentals 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 had served as offices for banking and 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.
Invest Atlanta officials have said both Peachtree Street buildings were expected to be entirely vacated by the end of 2023, setting the stage for redevelopment that would coincide with MARTA’s Five Points station overhaul down the block.
JLL has worked with Invest Atlanta and the city as a development advisor and will continue to do so throughout the contract process, according to the city.
“What captivates me the most with the project is the commitment to equitable downtown revitalization, the promise of more affordable housing, and the exciting potential for mixed-use spaces that will further the vibrancy of the area,” said Eloisa Klementich, Invest Atlanta president and CEO, in the announcement. “2 Peachtree is poised to become a model of what transformative development can create for cities and their communities.”
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