Controversial developer Dewberry Group has filed a new application to not only reactivate a long-stalled construction project in the heart of Midtown but to go larger with its renovation.
Dewberry officials are set to come before the Midtown Development Review Committee on Tuesday with revised plans for the Campanile building at 1155 Peachtree Street, where bottom floors and plazas have been gutted and exposed behind construction fencing for more than two years.
The most notable changes to Dewberry’s previous plans would be the addition of six new floors of offices atop the tower, increasing its height to 27 stories, according to Midtown Alliance. Dewberry had previously kicked around the idea of making the 1980s landmark tower taller, but the scope of earlier renovations didn’t include additional height.
Other updates would include eight floors of commercial space around the base of the tower, for a total of 39,000 square feet of retail. That would be accessible from three different entrances—on Peachtree, 13th, and Juniper streets—across the street from redeveloped Colony Square.
The new office floors atop Campanile would add 265,000 square feet, per Dewberry’s plans.
Another change would be the removal of a pedestrian bridge that spans Juniper Street (see the photo below). A loading area and revised underground parking garage with 178 spaces would be accessible from a realigned new driveway on Juniper Street.
Dewberry’s plans are considered an expansion to previous applications the Midtown DRC reviewed in 2018 and 2020. Demo began at the high-profile corner of Peachtree and 14th streets prior to COVID-19 lockdowns.
Last month, workers installed more private wooden fencing around the base of Campanile Plaza, lending Midtown residents hope the idle, ragged construction site might finally roar back to life.
Since last year, the site has been on full display for patrons of Colony Square’s The Grove, part of the $400-million redevelopment across the street.
The Midtown DRC, an appointed board, vets developers’ proposals, suggests alterations, and provides recommendations to the City’s Office of Planning before projects move forward in the district.
The city filed an “abandoned project” complaint against Dewberry Group—led by prominent Midtown landowner John Dewberry, who's been described by national media as Atlanta's "emperor of empty lots" for his willingness to sit on land and rebuff big-time offers—back in September.
In an interview with the AJC two months later, Dewberry blamed Campanile’s delays on several factors. Those have included a dispute with a contractor, the pandemic, and one marquee tenant (SunTrust, now Truist Bank) relocating and consolidating its offices downtown, per Dewberry. The newspaper also found that “financial snags” have taken a toll, including a $186-million loan considered to be distressed.
Built in 1987 as Bell South’s corporate headquarters, the 450,000-square-foot Campanile was purchased by Dewberry Group in 2010. Several years ago, the company completed a renovation that purged the Class A building of its 1980s datedness on upper floors, but its lobbies and plazas were still lacking an engaging connection with surrounding streets.
The design update at the tower’s base, which previously called for just two stories of retail, has been more than five years in the making.
• Recent Midtown news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)