Anyone who’s traveled Northside Drive west of Midtown recently has likely noticed a substantial amount of new construction taking shape (and a flock of cranes) in the vicinity of Georgia Tech.

That activity is the physical beginnings of Science Square, an initiative by Georgia Tech and its development partners that’s been in works for more than a decade and will eventually cover 18 acres on the Westside, offering a blend of uses project leaders say is unlike anything else in Atlanta.

The Science Square district’s first phase, which broke ground in August, will fuse biomedical research and technology space with more traditional mixed-use components—commercial spaces and apartments. It’s rising a total of 27 stories between Georgia Tech’s campus and Westside neighborhoods such as English Avenue, where another multifaceted district, Echo Street West, began opening last year.

Science Square developers provided Urbanize Atlanta this week with an update on where the project’s initial phase stands, including aerial construction photography from March. The university picked national developer Trammell Crow Company and its multifamily subsidiary, High Street Residential, to build Science Square in 2021.

Science Square construction progress last month with Northside Drive depicted at left and Georgia Tech's main campus at right. Aerial Innovations Southeast; courtesy of Trammell Crow Company

For starters, phase one’s 13-story Class A lab and office tower called Science Square Labs—a 365,000-square-foot spec project designed by Perkins + Will and developed by TCC—has nearly reached the midway point, with work ongoing at level six, officials say.

The building is designed to support Atlanta’s life science community with incubator, flexible lab and office, and graduator space for organizations of any stage and size, according to Georgia Tech. Amenities call for a fitness center, conference space, and an indoor/outdoor tenant lounge with a catering kitchen and attached deck with skyline views.

Aerial Innovations Southeast; courtesy of Trammell Crow Company

The Science Square location between Midtown and English Avenue. Google Maps

Officials have also announced that Chicago-based Portal Innovations, a venture capital firm that aims to help life sciences companies grow, has leased a full floor of the labs building, with a goal of opening next spring.

Next door, the 280-unit, Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio-designed apartment building will mark High Street’s first residential project in Atlanta. Currently at level seven, it’s planned to stand 14 stories with apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms.

Both buildings are expected to top out in August, project officials said this week.

The initial phase of Science Square will also include 6,000 square feet of retail space focused on food-and-beverage tenants, officials say.  

Exterior of phase one's largest component, Science Square Labs, a spec 368,000-square-foot Class A lab and office tower. Courtesy of TCC/Georgia Tech; designs, Perkins + Will

With Science Square (formerly Technology Enterprise Park), five phases of development will eventually be located where North Avenue meets Northside Drive, just southwest of the institute’s main campus. Plans call for 1.8 million square feet of commercial lab space, roughly 500 apartments, and 25,000 square feet of retail in the district overall.

Neighbors include Georgia Tech's North Avenue Research Area, MetLife’s Northyards office park, and what used to be Herndon Homes public housing.  

Ángel Cabrera, Georgia Tech president, has said Science Square’s overarching goal is to attract—and retain—top talent in medical research and innovation fields from around the world, keeping innovations that begin in Atlanta rooted in in the city.

To Science Square’s immediate south, Atlanta Housing is redeveloping the former Herndon Homes property into a 12-acre mixed-use venture called Herndon Square. A couple of blocks west, the 1.7-mile Westside BeltLine Connector opened two years ago as a multi-use trail link between downtown and the area around Westside Park.

Science Square officials say the first apartments, labs, and offices will start delivering in early 2024. That’s expected to be followed by four more phases.  

In the gallery above, have a look at where the first section of phase one stands today—and how it’s expected to look next year.


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