Renovation efforts that could see top-to-bottom changes at the tallest building in the Southeastern U.S. have officially kicked off.

CP Group, a Florida-based commercial real estate and management firm with a huge Atlanta portfolio, broke ground this week on a $50-million capital improvement program at Bank of America Plaza, a 55-story Midtown landmark that’s been the city’s tallest skyscraper for more than 30 years.

It’s part of a broader effort to make the architectural icon designed by Kevin Roche stand out in a turbulent office environment—and in a Midtown submarket that’s become increasingly crowded with brand-new, highly amenitized sky-rises.

For now, CP Group’s renovations will focus on the building’s 20,000-square-foot, dated lobby.

A new hospitality-focused lobby design by international architecture firm Gensler will aim to pay homage to Roche’s original Art Deco revival style but with modern twists, officials say.

Revived aesthetics planned for the 20,000-square-foot lobby at Atlanta's tallest building. Courtesy of CP Group

Elsewhere in the lobby, a coffee bar described as “upscale [and] barista-operated” will be installed to serve light snacks and fresh brews, alongside a “versatile huddle-and-focus workspace” area for guests and tenants, per officials. 

Also in the plans is an art gallery that will rotate pieces selected by CP Group’s in-house curator, who expects to work with local institutions to feature homegrown talent.  

But changes might not end there.

As reported on these pages in March, CP Group is exploring plans to install an upscale restaurant at the building’s base, overlooking North Avenue.  

The company is also looking into the possibility that Bank of America Plaza’s beacon-like 55th floor could be remade into an event space and tenant lounge, offering panoramic views that CP Group justifiably calls “unmatched.”

All of the above is part of rebranding efforts, as CP Group is aiming to reintroduce the building as “The South Star.” That’s a nod to its unique golden spire over the city and stature as “the tallest and brightest beacon in the Southeast,” according to an announcement.

A scene from this week's groundbreaking. Holder Construction is leading renovation efforts. Courtesy of CP Group

Plans for the building's base-level coffee bar. Courtesy of CP Group

CP Group purchased the Class A sky-rise last year with help with funds managed by HPS Investments Partners. The building counts more than 1.35 million square feet and still stands as the 23rd tallest in the U.S., according to CP Group.  

“Today marks a new chapter to take the building’s offerings one step higher and ensure it remains a top destination for businesses looking for exceptional workplace experiences for their teams,” said Chris Eachus, a CP Group partner, in a media release.

Kevin Songer, Gensler’s co-managing director in Atlanta and principal-in-charge of the Bank of America project, said his firm’s main focus is to reconnect the building to street and pedestrian activity.

“We wanted to bring the ‘golden glow’ from the building top to the ground level,” said Songer, “letting that be the light inviting tenants and visitors from the plaza into the reimagined ground lobby.”

Elsewhere in the building, CP Group recently finished 100,000 square feet of spec suites as part of a flex workspace initiative it calls worCPlaces. Current amenities at Bank of America Plaza include a food hall, new conference center, salon, fitness club, and an onsite bank branch.

According to CP Group, the firm is the largest office landlord in Florida, the second-largest in Atlanta, and among the top 25 biggest in the U.S. In recent years the company has also acquired CNN Center and Buckhead Centre, a two-building office campus near Buckhead Village, as part of its push to remake underperforming assets in key Southeastern and Southwestern markets.

Find more context and images for Atlanta’s “Star” high-rise in the gallery above.


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