Georgia Tech is putting plans in motion that officials say will set the stage for the next phase of Tech Square’s evolution: a block-altering, multi-tower project that’s been percolating for more than two years.
Schools officials released a traffic control plan Friday to help usher pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers around demolition set for the block bounded by West Peachtree, Spring, and 5th streets, and Biltmore Place. That’s one block north of Tech Square’s Coda, a John Portman and Associates-designed office tower.
Two low-rise buildings fronting West Peachtree Street will be razed for what demolition permits describe as “an interim parking lot on gravel and grass pavers.”
That eastern side of the block is being converted into a temporary campus “flex area” for additional parking and greenspace, where outdoor concerts, food trucks, and pop-up restaurants are also expected to be staged in the short term.
The flex space will eventually house a complex totaling 400,000 square feet with at least two towers.
Named for philanthropists Penny and William “Bill” George, the George Tower will be home to the highly ranked H. Milton Stewart School of Industrial and Systems Engineering, in addition to other programs, according to Georgia Tech.
The second high-rise, Scheller Tower, will house Tech’s graduate and executive education programs in the Ernest Scheller Jr. College of Business.
Tech officials say both new Phase III towers are scheduled to open by 2025.
In the meantime, demolition work will close sections of the block’s existing parking lot and sidewalks.
To help mitigate that, part of 5th Street’s westbound lane will be converted into a bike lane, while eastbound lanes remain open to cars and bikes. Biltmore Place will be westbound only, according to project leaders.
This preparatory work for Phase III is set to last until February, and updates on construction are expected to be issued in coming months.
The first sections of Tech Square opened in 2003, transforming what had been barren lots on the western edge of Midtown into an educational hub on the opposite side of the Connector from Georgia Tech’s campus.
The greenspace-laden Fifth Street Bridge Park debuted four years later as a means to pleasantly connect the two university entities.
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