Newport’s Pac-Man approach to South Downtown continues.

The American arm of a Germany-based development firm that’s gained regional notoriety for amassing a huge collection of empty downtown buildings and parking lots is at it again.  

Newport officials announced this week they’ve purchased a historic, handsome office building standing three stories at 175 Trinity Avenue and parking lots totaling 1 acre from the Georgia Municipal Association, which operates in a renovated downtown structure a few doors down.

The historic corner building at 175 Trinity Avenue that Georgia Municipal Association recently sold to Newport. Google Maps

The building in question is located at the northeast corner of where Peachtree Street meets Trinity Avenue. It stands about a block south of the parcel where Newport plans to build the taller of two apartment towers (21 stories, on the west side of Broad Street) beginning early next year.

Newport’s newly acquired acre of parking lots is located along Peachtree Street. We’ve asked for clarification as to exactly where and will update this story should that information come. [UPDATE: The parking lot address is 160 Peachtree Street SW.]

Newport's new 175 Trinity building (in red), the GMA's offices (in green), and the area's multitude of surface parking lots. Google Maps

Fulton County employees will use the lot for parking on an interim basis until “a permanent structured parking solution is integrated into a future Newport development,” according to company reps.

Newport also recently worked out a deal with Fulton County for a collection of parking lots where the 18-story tower will be built as part of a planned revival of South Broad Street. Newport expects to deliver those South Downtown residential buildings—the area's first development of that type in decades—with more than 650 units in 2025.

Newport officials say both GMA and Fulton County share the company’s goals to “celebrate the historic architecture and culture of the area while bringing life back to the neighborhood,” per this week’s announcement.  

Purchase prices for the 175 Trinity building and latest collection of parking lots weren’t disclosed.

Larry Hanson, GMA’s CEO and executive director, said the agency has also made a significant investment in South Downtown with its new headquarters, parking deck, and historic building renovation. “With Newport’s current assets surrounding our buildings,” Hanson said in a prepared statement, “it was a natural fit to work with them on their long-term plans and vision.”

Where the new residential buildings would meet Forsyth Street (left) and Broad/Mitchell Street (right). Courtesy of Newport RE; designs, Studios

Newport describes its South Downtown holdings as the country’s largest collection of historic commercial buildings. The portfolio consists of nearly 50 buildings and more than 4 acres of surface parking lots, where infill development is planned across 10 contiguous blocks over roughly the next decade.

Tentative plans call for more than 1,000 new apartments, Class A and creative offices, a range of retail, public spaces, and “places for artists,” per the development firm. The first two components—a revitalization of historic Hotel Row and the block-sized 222 Mitchell building across the street—are either finished or expected to begin delivering in the first months of 2023.

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