After a decade in the pipeline, a project on Atlanta’s quickly developing Westside that aims to solidify the city as a top emerging life sciences market has an official start date next month.
Officials have scheduled a groundbreaking ceremony August 18 for the master-planned, 18-acre district near Georgia Tech now called Science Square, which is expected to be built in five phases.
Phase one call for 27 stories of new development overall, between a high-tech office building and apartment stack next door on Technology Circle. It’ll be located where North Avenue meets Northside Drive, just southwest of the institute’s main campus. Neighbors include Georgia Tech's North Avenue Research Area, MetLife’s Northyard’s office park, and what used to be Herndon Homes public housing.
Georgia Advanced Technology Ventures—a cooperative organization of Georgia Tech—picked developers Trammel Crow Company and High Street Residential to build the remaining phases of Science Square last year. The development team closed on ground leases at the site in March.
State, city, and Georgia Tech officials are expected to be on hand for the phase one groundbreaking in August, according to a Thursday announcement.
The overall project, formerly called Technology Enterprise Park, is ambitiously envisioned as “a regional and global hub of bioscience and life science that will draw research and investment from academia and private industry regionally and nationally,” per the development team. It’s also been described as “a leading mixed-use, life science center for inclusive innovation,” as project heads put it last year.
As a start, phase one will include a 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. At street level, retail space is also planned.
Amenities call for a fitness center, conference space, and an indoor/outdoor tenant lounge with a catering kitchen and attached deck with skyline views, which can be reserved for special events.
Science Square Labs is scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2024.
Next door, the 280-unit, Rule Joy Trammell + Rubio-designed apartment building will mark High Street’s first residential project in Atlanta. It’s planned to stand 14 stories with apartments ranging from one to three bedrooms and retail at the base.
Officials say the first homes will deliver in early 2024, with the full building coming online later that year.
The apartment development will continue the westward push of new multifamily residential ventures into places like Bankhead, the Marietta Street corridor, and with the Echo Street West project, English Avenue.
To the Science Square site’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 last year, a multi-use trail link between downtown and the area around Westside Park.
One goal with Science Square, officials have said, is to engage residents, students, and teachers in surrounding neighborhoods and expose them to careers in the biomedical and life sciences industry. To that end, TCC is donating $500,000 with a Community Education Grant to support outreach, education, and job training.
• Photos: Views from atop new Georgia Tech apartments are off the charts (Urbanize Atlanta)