DOWNTOWN—Demand for retail space at Centennial Yards is apparently like Beanie Babies, Cronuts, and BTS tickets combined. That’s a reasonable summation of what Brian McGowan, Centennial Yards Company president, recently told the Atlanta Business Chronicle, relaying that the $5-billion Gulch redevelopment has retailers across the country interested in leasing 3 million square feet of space—almost enough to fill Lenox Square mall twice—that doesn’t yet exist. McGowan described demand as “enormous.”

Plans call for Centennial Yards to eventually feature about 750,000 square feet of retail space across its 50 acres of new blocks and buildings. For context, that’s two and ½ times the amount of retail and restaurant space at Ponce City Market today.

A fresh perspective on the view looking north to Centennial Olympic Park.

McGowan isn’t naming names of potential tenants yet (though letters of intent have been inked), but he said a grocery store and musical experience, featuring everything from hip hop to country, should be included, to create a festival-like atmosphere at Centennial Yards. The bulk of the core sports and entertainment district is now expected to be under construction by 2026.

CITYWIDE—After a heated war of words between MARTA and Atlanta City Council members who called for the transit agency to be audited earlier this week, MARTA has softened its stance against a financial review of More MARTA program spending, which Atlanta voters had approved in 2016 for enhanced transit options that haven’t come.

Following further talks with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens’ office, MARTA leadership is agreeing to “capitulate” and willingly participate in the requested city-funded audit, an effort to satisfy councilmembers who’ve voiced frustrations with MARTA’s lack of expansion progress, according to the Saporta Report. W. Thomas Worthy, chair of MARTA’s Board of Directors, called the transit agency an “audit-friendly” environment and suggested MARTA could split the cost with the city of bringing in an auditing firm that neither have worked with in the past.  

EAST LAKE—In news that could dishearten Atlanta density proponents, a vast majority of the East Lake Neighborhood Community Association voted this month to reject a proposal to build a dozen homes and townhomes across the street from East Lake Golf Club. The development would replace a single home on a large corner lot at the entrance to Olmsted, a master-planned community with about 90 homes and townhomes.   

Earlier plans for the 2535 Glenwood Avenue proposal that have been scaled back. Atlanta's storied East Lake Golf Club is across the street at top. Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services

Of 64 people who voted on the proposal on March 13, 92 percent said the ELNCA should recommend that a requested zoning change be denied for the 2535 Glenwood Avenue project, as Decaturish reported. The added density at Olmsted's entrance has been a bone of contention for months. 

In an effort to satisfy neighbors, developer Michael Palazzone of Lee & Associates Commercial Real Estate Services had again ensured the proposal was tweaked, reducing the townhome count to nine and adding three standalone houses along Glenwood Avenue, a main East Lake corridor. But that was to no avail. Opponents generally feel the site is more appropriate for three to four single-family homes, though some neighbors during the recent meeting called townhomes an appropriate use.

We reached out to Palazzone this week to learn what the developer’s next steps might be but have not heard back.  


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