Exactly how Portman’s latest, three-pronged Midtown development might look and function next year—and what visitors might eat there—is coming into clearer focus.

Portman officials on Thursday released fresh renderings for various facets of Spring Quarter and announced that Chef Fuyuhiko Ito, of Buckhead’s MF Sushi and Umi fame, will operate two concepts there, including a flagship restaurant, come this time next year.

Expected to “push the boundaries of contemporary Japanese cuisine,” Sozuo will mark the first in a series of chef-driven restaurants that Portman officials say will help transform a full city block the company is redeveloping along Spring Street, just north of 10th Street near the downtown Connector.

Sozou will take ground-level space at the base of 1020 Spring, the project’s Class-A office tower rising now over the westernmost portion of the site. Expect a robata grill and sushi counter in addition to the main kitchen, with fresh fish sourced from markets around the world.

Ground floor of Spring Quarter's office building where Sozou is planned. Courtesy of Portman

Chef Lisa Ito is also on board for desserts, and the space is being designed by Noriyoshi Muramatsu from Tokyo’s Studio Glitt.

Above the main dining room, on an eighth-floor rooftop space of the office building facing north across Midtown, the same team is planning a concept called Omakase by Ito for a personalized experience catering to private guests.

“Over the last 20 years, I have had the pleasure of following [Ito’s] career and watching him become one of the most incredible sushi chefs in the country,” Dotan Zuckerman, Portman’s head of retail development, said in a prepared statement. “We’re proud to bring him back to Atlanta to open his very own flagship restaurant.”

The 1020 Spring building's eighth-floor terrace where an omakase concept is planned. Courtesy of Portman

Some aspects of Spring Quarter have already delivered.

At the corner of Spring and 10th streets, Portman Residential’s 30-story luxury apartment tower, Sora at Spring Quarter, topped out in April and has since started leasing. That building will include 370 apartments—all of them designated as “luxury” grade—and roughly 11,000 square feet of retail. The retail will be arranged in spaces at street level and in a public paseo (a European-style, pedestrian alleyway, that is) linking Sora with the historic H.M. Patterson & Sons-Spring Hill Chapel next door. 

The former mortuary is being converted into a chef-driven restaurant with a single operator, along with offshoot lounges and an events space, officials said earlier this year. Mum is still the word on who that operator is, but a Portman rep said Thursday an unveiling may come before year’s end.

The old funeral home’s “lush gardens will spring to life with street-level energy and ground-floor retail,” per this week’s announcement.

As viewed from Spring Street, the retail paseo between Spring Quarter's apartment tower, left, and renovated mortuary. Courtesy of Portman

The back paseo portion of the project. Courtesy of Portman

A third new-construction component is planned for the northernmost section of Portman’s Spring Street site—initially planned as a hotel, but now more likely residential, officials have told Urbanize Atlanta. Plans to demolish low-rise buildings on that section of the property were put in motion last month.

Portman officials say all facets of Spring Quarter currently under construction are on pace to open in the third quarter of 2024, with Ito’s food concepts debuting in November. Find more fresh glimpses of what’s to come in the gallery above.


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• Midtown news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)