A year after breaking ground, the towering lab portion of Georgia Tech’s westward march has officially topped out.
The master-planned Science Square district—an initiative by Georgia Tech and its development partners that’s been in the works for more than a decade—will eventually cover 18 acres on the Westside, offering a blend of uses project leaders say is unlike anything else in Atlanta.
The university picked national developer Trammell Crow Company and its multifamily subsidiary, High Street Residential, to build Science Square in 2021. Georgia Tech affiliate Georgia Advance Technology Ventures is another partner in the project’s two-building initial phase.
The Science Square district’s first phase, which broke ground in August 2022, is rising a total of 27 stories between Georgia Tech’s campus and Westside neighborhoods such as English Avenue, where another multifaceted district, Echo Street West, began opening last year. Its goal is to fuse biomedical research and technology space with more traditional mixed-use components—commercial spaces and apartments.
Phase one’s 13-story Class A lab and office tower called Science Square Labs, a 368,000-square-foot spec project designed by Perkins + Will and developed by TCC, has recently topped out and made its first lease officially official.
Chicago-based Portal Innovations, a venture capital firm that aims to help life sciences companies grow with lab space, seed capital, and management support, has leased the full 10th floor of the labs building, taking 33,136 square feet, TCC reps announced today.
Katherine Lynch, a TCC Atlanta principal, said Atlanta marks the fourth market where Portal will establish "a biotech and medtech ecosystem, further advancing Atlanta’s strong position in the life science industry,” according to a prepared statement. Portal’s space at Science Square will include private offices, wet and dry labs, and collaborative space, alongside an outdoor terrace.
Plans call for the Science Square Labs building to also offer two food-and-beverage spaces.
Tenant amenities in the works include a fitness center, an indoor-outdoor lounge with a catering kitchen, a large conference center, and an amenity deck with skyline views. The building will also feature a 38,000-square-foot solar panel array atop its parking garage, installed by Cherry Street Energy, in its quest to achieve LEED Gold and WELL Certifications, according to TCC.
The building is designed to support Atlanta’s life science community with incubator, flexible lab and office, and graduator space for organizations of any stage and size, according to Georgia Tech.
Next door, the 280-unit, Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio-designed apartment building will mark High Street’s first residential project in Atlanta. It’s planned to stand 14 stories with apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms.
With Science Square (formerly Technology Enterprise Park), five phases of development will eventually be located where North Avenue meets Northside Drive, just southwest of the institute’s main campus. Plans call for 1.8 million square feet of commercial lab space, roughly 500 apartments, and 25,000 square feet of retail in the district overall.
Neighbors include Georgia Tech’s North Avenue Research Area, MetLife’s Northyards office park, and what used to be Herndon Homes public housing. Ángel Cabrera, Georgia Tech president, has said Science Square’s overarching goal is to attract—and retain—top talent in medical research and innovation fields from around the world, keeping innovations that begin in Atlanta rooted in the city.
To Science Square’s immediate south, Atlanta Housing is redeveloping the former Herndon Homes property into a 12-acre mixed-use venture called Herndon Square. A couple of blocks west, the 1.7-mile Westside BeltLine Connector opened two years ago as a multi-use trail link between downtown and the area around Westside Park.
Science Square officials say the first apartments, labs, and offices will start delivering in the first quarter of next year. That’s expected to be followed by four more phases. Find a closer look at what’s to come in the gallery above.
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