The Howell Mill Road corridor’s 2023 forecast calls for a continued surge of mixed-use investment that’s transforming the West Midtown district between Georgia Tech and the BeltLine.  

One notable change has already come, in the form of a business closure.

Allen Morris Company officials tell Urbanize Atlanta they plan to begin construction next month on an apartment tower called Stella at Star Metals along 11th Street.

Renderings indicate the 338,000-square-foot Stella building will rise on a site just east of Star Metals Offices and just west of Northside Drive.

The Stella building will deliver 331 more multifamily units in 20 stories to the booming district, with 25,000 square feet of retail at street level, according to plans filed with the city last year and promotional materials.

W. A. Spencer Morris, the development firm’s president, said the Stella building will be considered the Star Metals District’s third phase. The $500-million Home Park development currently counts the office tower and another apartment building across the street, which was rebranded last year as hospitality-living concept Sentral West Midtown.  

As tipsters pointed out in late December, La Fonda Latina has closed up shop on Howell Mill next to the forthcoming Stella construction site.

The former, longstanding La Fonda location on Howell Mill Road (soon to be a temporary Fishmonger location), with Star Metals Offices pictured behind it, and the flex-living Sentral West Midtown at Star Metals building across the street. Google Maps

La Fonda had operated at 1025 Howell Mill Road for more than a decade. (Decaturish reports another La Fonda outpost is under construction and set to open in the former Lake and Oak Barbecue space, as part of East Lake’s Hosea + 2nd development, this spring.) 

According to Morris, the former La Fonda building will be redeveloped as part of the fourth, fifth, and sixth Star Metals District phases. Developers expect construction on those facets to begin in the second half of 2024.  

Bisnow Atlanta reported in October that Allen Morris was in talks to line up financing for the remainder of the Stars Metals District. The developer filed an application with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs last year to add 200,000 square feet of offices, 80,000 square feet of retail, 50 units for short-term rental or hotel uses, and a total of 755 housing options to what’s standing at Star Metals now.

Plans for the Stella project's west (left) and south facades. Courtesy of Allen Morris Company; designs, Oppenheim Architecture; architect of record, Dwell Design Studio

Courtesy of Allen Morris Company; designs, Oppenheim Architecture

Designs for the Stella building, the next component, call for “expansive rolling green roofs, cooper-like banding around the slab edges, and panels of seemingly curved glass that represent modern elements [melding] with [the] historic industrial roots of the neighborhood,” according to marketing materials.

The team includes Oppenheim Architecture, with interiors by Square Feet Studio, and Atlanta-based Dwell Design Studio serving as the Stella project's architect of record.

Apartments will range from studios to two-bedroom units. In addition to retail, the building’s amenities will include a rooftop “sky lounge” with panoramic skyline views, a movie theatre, and a pool area on the seventh floor. See how it’s planned to look and function in the above gallery.


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Before/after: The remarkable transformation of Atlanta's Howell Mill corridor (Urbanize Atlanta)