From transit-connected megaprojects to innovative warehouse revivals, 2021 brought a remarkable slate of new developments to Atlanta's ever-changing urban landscape.  

Whether assisted by generous tax breaks or not, the projects stood out in terms of scale and ability to activate underused or outdated contexts. One downtown parking garage morphed into hundreds of residences. Rotting warehouses sprung to life as a regional destination. To cite just two examples. 

But what was the crème de la crème of large-scale project debuts in 2021? Cast your vote in the poll below, which will remain open until Wednesday afternoon


Ascent Peachtree

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^ After two and 1/2 years of construction, luxury multifamily project Ascent Peachtree welcomed its first residents in October. But don't mistake it for any rudimentary, ground-up new high-rise. 

This 29-story Greystar project made the most of an old parking deck—still too common around downtown—by sprouting from the top of it, adding a rare, non-student new residential option with 345 apartments in the blocks north of Georgia State University. The top-shelf amenities (hello, hammock cabanas) aim to justify rents as high as (gulp) $6,500 monthly. Conversely, 70 units—or roughly 20 percent of the building—was reserved as workforce housing. 


The Interlock

The multifaceted Interlock's Howell Mill Road frontage. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

^ The Big Kahuna of mixed-use ventures on drastically transformed Howell Mill Road made its first-phase debut in 2021. The Interlock, an S.J. Collins Enterprises project, replaced a heavy equipment rental business with a $450-million, open-container funplex for visitors, office dwellers, guests of its new Bellyard Hotel, and residents of Windsor Interlock, a 350-unit apartment venture included in the mix. 

With prices up to $1 million, the Interlock's first flank of townhomes is coming to fruition now, as the second phase—with its highly anticipated Publix anchor—is barreling ahead, too. 


Graydon Buckhead

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^ Yes, the finishing touches are still being applied to this dee-luxe 22-story addition to Peachtree Road's skyline, but the Graydon Buckhead is complete enough—and enough of a restrained yet elegant statement piece—to make the cut here.

The whole building counts just 47 condos, with prices spanning from $1.7 million up to a mondo penthouse called "The Estate" that claims the full 22nd floor, priced north of $8 million. Graydon Buckhead, the first venture outside Florida for developer Kolter Urban, topped out in January. Sales have gone so well, the company is already moving forward with a second tower down the street. 


Three-tower 1105 West Peachtree

Finished exteriors at the three-building complex, with a one-acre amenities plaza in between, as shown in the context of northern Midtown blocks. Courtesy of Selig

^ This past fall, Selig Enterprises announced the completion of a three-tower venture that “forever changed” Midtown’s skyline. Indeed. 

Featuring the food-centric Epicurean Atlanta hotel, the upscale 40 West 12th condos, and 31 stories of offices that will infuse an army of Google employees into the district, the $530-million Selig Development venture claimed an entire Midtown block. All three buildings rose concurrently at the 3.5-acre site with varied façades that Selig officials say “give the illusion of distinct buildings constructed over the course of time.” Bonus points for the office tower's glowing exoskeleton, which changes colors based on themes like a 410-foot art piece. 


State Farm's huge Perimeter complex

From right, buildings 1, 2, and 3, with Kennesaw Mountain in the distance.Jonathan Phillips/Urbanize Atlanta

^ Seven years after insurance giant State Farm announced plans for a regional hub at Atlanta’s Perimeter Center, the MARTA-connected, three-tower project is finished (for now), standing as a template for how OTP density can be smartly executed in the face of rampant growth. And the numbers are staggering. 

The Dunwoody complex includes more than 1.7 million square feet of office space—substantially more than Midtown’s Bank of America Plaza, the Southeast’s tallest building. It has 61 total stories, 46 break rooms, and 44 elevators. Nearly 400,000 pounds of dynamite were required to clear the site, and it took more than 3 million manhours to build. The first building of three opened back in 2016, and with COVID-19 concerns lingering, huge subleases have gone to the likes of Carvana. 


Colony Square 2.0

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^ So long, dated food court. 

That was the message back in July, when construction officials declared that a $400-million redo of Colony Square—a Midtown landmark considered the Southeast’s original mixed-use development—was open, without the glass and roofs obscuring clouds and stars off Peachtree Street. Buildouts continue for some spaces, but North American Properties' redevelopment has produced 940,000 square feet of Class A offices—both new and refurbished—and 160,000 square feet for retail, restaurants (the fashionable Politan Row food hall), and entertainment. It's all especially charming during the holidays. 


The Works

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Not all intriguing new projects must pierce the skies or remake intown blocks. Proof of this came throughout 2021 with The Works, Selig's entrant to Atlanta’s pantheon of alluring, artfully executed warehouse flips.

Like predecessors ranging from White Provisions District to Grant Park's The Beacon, The Works infused life into worn-out industrial spaces. The first phase is home to 120,000 square feet of new offices and 160,000 square feet of retail, including the eclectic Chattahoochee Food Works, a 31-stall food hall. The project's first apartments are under construction in new buildings near the entrance, and a business billed as “The Eatertainment Concept of the Future” should open soon.