The next incarnation of one of Atlanta’s oldest buildings is set to begin this week, repositioning the property in a way that owners say will meet changing office dynamics and demand for centralized housing.
The Grant Building, a landmark downtown office mid-rise from the 1890s, is set to be converted to residential uses, adding to a surge of new living options in blocks near the south side of Centennial Olympic Park and growing the city’s stock of former offices switched to multifamily uses.
The 44 Broad Street building’s new Texas-based owners—Wolfe Investments and Bluelofts, a real estate company that specializes in office-to-multifamily conversions—have planned a groundbreaking ceremony for the redevelopment Thursday morning. The companies bought the building as a joint venture in December.
According to a groundbreaking announcement, the Grant Building’s conversion plans call for turning offices into 165 Class-A multifamily units at the 10-story building.
Below that will be offices on the second floor, with an unspecified amount of retail at the street.
New amenities for Grant Building residents will include a fitness center with a yoga studio, a clubhouse with sports and gaming equipment, a business center, and spaces for lounging and socializing, per the ownership group.
The Grant Building—the second oldest steel-frame structure left standing in Atlanta—was built in 1898 in the Chicago Architectural Style, as designed by Atlanta architects Alexander Bruce and Thomas Henry Morgan. It’s been listed on the National Register of Historic Places since 1979.
According to its new ownership, the Grant Building is also the second-oldest steel structure building across the Southeast.
The 125,000-square-foot property has been renovated twice since it opened: in 1980 and again in 2019, when key systems such as the elevators were upgraded, according to Colliers, which orchestrated its sale.
One selling point was the Grant Building’s location within a Qualified Opportunity Zone. That means the area has been identified as low-income or economically distressed, making projects more eligible for tax incentives.
Plans call for the Grant Building, once converted from offices, to be leased to Sonder, a national apartment-hotel operator, as Colliers announced in January. Sonder operates another downtown building called Midtown South near Renaissance Park that debuted in early 2022, with starting rates around $120 nightly.
Sonder added Atlanta to its list of more than 35 cities in early 2020, offering rates the company has said are about 15 percent lower than hotels.
Converting the landmark building to residential uses would follow similar downtown adaptive-reuse projects at Altitude Atlanta (formerly Paces Properties’ The Office building) and more recently Centennial Yards South, CIM Group’s conversion of former Norfolk Southern offices beside the Gulch.
The City of Atlanta also recently acquired downtown’s 2 Peachtree tower and a neighboring building from the state with plans of remaking offices into affordable housing. Development proposals for that project are due Sept. 1.
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