One of Atlanta’s more controversial development groups wants to create a grassy lawn in the middle of a rapidly developing Midtown corridor—at the expense of a former hotel that’s stood for nearly a century.

Dewberry Capital is scheduled to come before the Midtown Development Review Committee next week with plans to demolish a two-story, brick structure along 17th Street, between West Peachtree and Peachtree streets, according to Midtown Alliance.

The 14 17th Street building was built in the 1930s at the southern end of Pershing Point, first serving as apartments and then the Northwood Hotel. In its later years, it was office space, but it’s been left abandoned and in disrepair since Dewberry Capital acquired the lot more than a decade ago. 

The building in 1954 when it served as a hotel.GSU Library Archives

The former Northwood Hotel (and later, offices) as it appeared last spring, along a rapidly developing 17th Street corridor. Google Maps

According a Midtown DRC agenda, Dewberry officials believe the building is now beyond repair and has become a magnet for trespassers.

Plans call for wiping the slate clean and leaving the space empty the like the rest of the primely located lot, where the only thing sprouting in recent years (besides Dewberry leasing signs) is grass.

That’s not to say the site hasn’t been fertile ground for big ideas in the past.

Prior to the Great Recession, Atlanta-based developer Shailendra Group and the New York office of architects Skidmore Owings & Merrill had begun compiling designs on a skyscraper for InterContinental Hotels Group that would have possibly climbed to 70 stories—eclipsing Bank of American Plaza as the city’s tallest building.

Alas, those ambitions crumbled, and the 1400 Peachtree property fell into foreclosure.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle reported in 2011 that Dewberry Capital swept in and claimed the 1.7-acre slice of Midtown for $6 million that year. The property had previously traded for $17.7 million in 2006.

At the time, the site was considered a choice addition to Dewberry’s growing portfolio in Midtown’s northern blocks, a district the developer was trying to rebrand as Uptown.

Today, the empty section of Pershing Point is bookended by major investments from high-rise developers. Those include the recently finished Midtown Union complex to the west, and Greystar’s rising, 33-story apartment tower next door to the south.

A view of the building looking east, toward Ansley Park and developer Greystar's new 33-story apartment tower, as seen in spring 2022. Google Maps

If anyone should have a rendering of that skyscraper that never was—visuals may have gone extinct at this point—please do share in the comments.

Recent Midtown news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)