The $15-million makeover of a historic Poncey-Highland inn has wrapped, lending a bold new exterior aesthetic and modernized uses to a century-old intown landmark.

A two-year renovation process has turned the Highland Inn—a lovably shabby hotel, retail row, and events space—into a throwback mixed-use concept called Otto’s Apartment Hotel.

The project is the work of Atlanta-based Canvas Companies, whose previous adaptive-reuse ventures span from Summerhill and Westview to East Atlanta and Old Fourth Ward.  

Canvas bought the 1927 property—originally built as Wynne’s Apartment Hotel—alongside about 30,000 square feet of adjacent, North Highland Avenue retail space and a neighboring parking lot in 2021. Rumors swirled that developers might try to raze the building, but that talk was unfounded.

Ben McLoughlin, Canvas’ co-managing partner, tells Urbanize Atlanta the conversion process is complete and that move-ins began in mid-December.

“Lease-up is progressing well, and we anticipate being completely full this summer,” McLoughlin says.

The previous state of the Highland Inn facade prior to renovations beginning two years ago. Courtesy Canvas Companies/Otto’s Apartment Hotel

The new Otto's color scheme (and painted chimney) along North Highland Avenue today. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Today, Otto’s offers a flex-living apartment concept that’s meant to feel and function like a cross between a boutique hotel and small modern rental community. Options range from fully furnished apartments with three to 12-month leases (geared toward people new to Atlanta, or those temporarily residing here) to full-time rentals with traditional leases.  

Studio options range from $1,200 to $1,450 per month. The larger one-bedroom, one-bathroom units are asking $1,550 to $1,800. Square footages, however, aren’t specified in apartment listings.

Project leaders have previously said the 70 units at Otto’s will average about 400 square feet each.

Building amenities include a 24-hour gym, event space, a courtyard patio, and the 30,000-square-foot The Shops at Otto’s retail component. A chef-driven restaurant and café are also forthcoming.  

Example of finishes today inside an Otto's studio unit. Courtesy Canvas Companies/Otto’s Apartment Hotel

Retail and patio space fronting North Highland Avenue. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

McLoughlin says about 90 percent of all retail space has been leased. Three businesses—Thrive Acting Hive, TheTuftestGuyInTown, and The Supermarket by The Bakery Atlanta—have all recently moved into their spaces. Openings on the horizon include the next location of Big Softie ice cream shop and Secondwind Gear Shop, a consignment concept for outdoor gear.

“The café space has been leased, and the tenant should be making an announcement shortly,” says McLoughlin. “We’ve been working with a group to lease the (downstairs) ballroom space and hope to have a lease finalized in the next few weeks.”

Swing up to the gallery for more context and a closer look inside Otto’s.


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• Poncey-Highland news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)