A new communal greenspace is coming together that aims to enliven a busy Peachtree Street intersection, help revitalize the south Midtown area, and create “a new front door” for the Southeast’s tallest building, according to project leaders.

With its walled-off 1990s design cleared away, Bank of America Plaza’s park-like entryway where Peachtree Street meets North Avenue is being transformed into a more functional and inviting public setting for lunchtime breaks, yoga, food trucks, and outdoor festivals, among other uses.

Building owner Shorenstein Properties broke ground on the 1.2-acre greenspace project, as designed by Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent, in February. The goal is to fill what Shorenstein calls a void of functional outdoor space in the area—while providing a reprieve from the office that building dwellers will want in a post-pandemic world.

Shorenstein calls the 55-story structure built in 1992 “the crown jewel of Atlanta’s skyline” and the city’s “most iconic” building. The urban park will help connect it to the neighborhood and showcase it from the street, according to the property owners.

The plaza's conditions before, where Peachtree Street meets North Avenue, as seen in winter 2018. Google Maps

Original planters have been removed to better engage the sidewalks, while new hardscape zones made of concrete, granite, and wood decking are being installed to create a series of social areas leading to the tower’s entrance. Fresh landscaping and a mix of tables, chairs, and benches are pending.

The goal is to create “a warm and welcoming environment for office users while also drawing in workers and pedestrians” from around the junction of Midtown and downtown, according to Shorenstein.

Construction progress at the new, public Bank of America Plaza greenspace on Sunday. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

“Open air and the ability to get out of the office is now more important than ever,” Jack Corey, Shorenstein Properties vice president, said in the project’s announcement. “Top talent needs and expects to have outdoor space.” 

Following renovations in recent years, Bank of America Plaza leases space to tech firms such as Featurespace, Flexport, Revel Systems, and Riskalyze, and legal and professional services firms such as Troutman Pepper, Hunton Andrews Kurth, and LBBS.

How the 1.2-acre site should look when totally finished and in bloom, per project leaders. Courtesy of Shorenstein Properties; designs, Lord Aeck Sargent

Plans include multifunctional lawn spaces. Courtesy of Shorenstein Properties; designs, Lord Aeck Sargent

The schedule in February called for opening the new park space this past summer, but that clearly hasn’t happened. 

The new timeline calls for opening the greenspace in the last quarter of this year, a spokesperson for Shorenstein confirmed to Urbanize Atlanta. 

Gray Kiser, the project manager at Lord Aeck Sargent, has called Bank of America Plaza a regional icon that, as a product of the early 1990s, never established “any meaningful relationship with the street or its immediate context.”

“The task of our project,” according to Kiser, “is to reintroduce Bank of America Plaza back into the fabric of downtown and Midtown.”

Have a closer look in the gallery above. 

Photos: At downtown Atlanta's edge, Cook Park is a functional gem (Urbanize Atlanta)