What used to be a ghost town now has the makings of a legitimate small town within the big city of Atlanta.

Since 2019, or three years after the Atlanta Braves decamped to Cobb County, more than 1,000 new apartments have sprung up from former Turner Field parking lots and other underused land. A full Main Street-style row of restaurants, watering holes, and other businesses has emerged from vacant old buildings—or new ones designed to look old. More than 100 townhomes have popped up, creating leafy new lanes. The major grocery store Summerhill has long sought is on the way. Ditto for the district’s first bank. Plus healthcare options. The list goes on.

As the Braves’ postseason fervor heats up and skies clear for autumn, we sent up a drone this week to take stock of changes around Summerhill, the runner-up for Urbanize’s Best Atlanta Neighborhood 2021. The asphalt seas around what used to be Turner Field are part of an 83-acre project led by developer Carter that’s expected to eventually create 19 new blocks.  

The Summerhill project obviously remains a work-in-progress, but the chances of it being described as a “sterile shopping mall” are slim. Have a closer look below.

^ As seen this week just south of downtown Atlanta, former Turner Field parking lots along Hank Aaron Drive are being transformed into the Publix-anchored Summerhill Station project. The 4.4-acre development, part of Carter’s 19-block reimagining of the area, is scheduled to open next summer. 

^ Home to the Bravos for two decades, the reconfigured Turner Field is now owned by Georgia State University. As Center Parc Stadium, the 22,000-seat venue hosts Panthers home football games, concerts, commencement ceremonies, and other events. It had originally been built as the 1996 Centennial Olympics stadium before being halved for baseball.   

Recent Hank Aaron Drive (at right) development, as seen last month.

^ Across the street from GSU’s football stadium (at top), Alexan Summerhill has recently replaced 3.6 acres of parking spaces and empty lots with 325 apartments in the 700 block of Hank Aaron Drive. At bottom, a standalone Chase Bank branch (snooze) has topped out on a prominent corner lot.                           

^ Rows of buildings along Georgia Avenue that had been empty for decades, hampered by a lack of consistent patronage during the off-season and when the Braves were out of town, have been adaptively reused as restaurants, offices, and a brewery. Carter’s website lists 20 new businesses on a three-block stretch of this street alone. It’s marketed as “the heart and soul of Summerhill.” 

^ Some former stadium parking lots (bottom left) remain for future development, while the final phase of Hedgewood’s 100-unit Summerhill townhomes takes shape (middle right). Prices for two-bedroom dwellings in phase three now start in the $490,000s.

^ The 565 Hank apartments opened last year with 306 units beside the footprint of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, where the late Braves slugger achieved his fabled 715th home run. GSU plans to build a 1,500-seat baseball stadium on remaining parking lots in this section.

^ Just beyond remaining parking lots are 300 new apartments at Broadstone Summerhill (top right) and GSU’s new convocation center, basketball arena, and concert hall (top left, in gray). The Olympic torch structure still stands over that section.

Courtesy of Branch Properties

^ Lastly, a preview of future Summerhill development around the forthcoming Publix and 565 Hank apartment community.

The latest aerial rendering for how Summerhill Station would be built along Hank Aaron Drive, where it meets a newly created east-west extension of Glenn Street. Courtesy of Branch Properties

Summerhill news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)