Atlanta’s leading preservationist group is crying foul over plans for a mixed-use Midtown high-rise they fear will literally overshadow and negatively impact a historic apartment complex that’s being converted to more affordable rentals.
Tenth Street Ventures, an Atlanta developer with experience reviving older apartment buildings in Buckhead, Midtown, and now Hunter Hills, recently filed plans with the city for a 20-story tower where West Peachtree Street meets 19th Street in Midtown’s northern blocks.
Per Tenth Street Ventures’ special administrative permit filing last week, the new complex would surround on two sides the U-shaped, historically protected Winnwood Apartments that have stood along West Peachtree Street since 1931. That two-story brick structure was built in a Georgian Revival-style by once-prominent Atlanta firm H.W. Nicholes and Sons, and it remains one of the last examples of the architecture type left standing in the city, according to preservation organization Easements Atlanta.
David Y. Mitchell, Atlanta Preservation Center’s executive director, calls plans for the tower “lamentable” in that they would “besiege” the landmark apartment building standing on a drastically different scale next door. Behind the apartments today is a one-story, multi-stall garage built of brick and wood, also more than 90 years old, that development plans call for razing, as Mitchell noted today in a letter to Atlanta media.
Mitchell notes the Winnwood Apartments, listed on the National Register of Historic Places last year, are being converted to smaller apartments and “needed middle housing” while adding no new parking to the urbanizing district, thanks in part to the existing stalls behind the rentals. The tower proposal could have benefited from more “civic engagement” before it was drawn up, Mitchell feels.
“The renovations and historic preservation [of Winnwood Apartments] are happening in tandem,” Mitchell wrote in an email to Urbanize Atlanta. “This project exemplifies the way you wed together our needs of today with the vision of the past by keeping something that is Atlanta.”
As proposed, the project’s mix of uses would run the gamut, with 171 multifamily units, 4,950 square feet of coworking space, a little more than 29,000 square feet of restaurant, retail, and commercial space, in addition to 141 hotel rooms. As Bisnow Atlanta first reported, Tenth Street Ventures hopes to break ground within a year to 18 months on a build that would cost roughly $100 million.
The building would feature apartments on lower floors, with short-term and medium-term hotel units above. Some units would be reserved as affordable housing for low-income Atlantans to fill the void left by demolished extended-stay rentals, per developers. The L-shaped new structure would also incorporate the so-called Master Mind Thinker Building into plans. At the street, that 15,000-square-foot low-rise would be converted to a café and lobby for apartments and hotel tenants above, while two upper floors would be remade as commercial spaces with rooftop seating, per Tenth Street Ventures’ plans.
The Winnwood Apartments were once controlled by Tenth Street Ventures, too, but when four of the company’s managing partners split off to form a development firm called Urban Landings in 2021, the old rentals transferred with them. Now, Urban Landings has partnered with GBX and Easements Atlanta to refurbish and reconfigure the 90-year-old property into roughly 50 units—all micro apartments and one-bedrooms that officials have promised will be relatively affordable for the area.
The 1450 W. Peachtree Street proposal is scheduled to come before the Midtown Development Review Committee at its monthly meeting this afternoon. Earlier reports had pegged the tower plans at 15 stories, but according to Midtown Alliance, it would rise 20 stories over three major streets.
Mitchell said the meeting will provide the DRC “an awakening” in regards to “the complexity of this endeavor.”
In the meantime, head up to the gallery for more context and a closer look at plans submitted to the city, as they stand today.
• Recent Midtown news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)