More than three years after a ceremonial groundbreaking and shindig was held on site, a mixed-use project that aims to reshape nearly a full block in Old Fourth Ward has finally begun its vertical ascent.

Waldo’s Old Fourth Ward—a mix of hotel rooms, office space, retail, and townhomes along Boulevard, just south of Edgewood Avenue—has grappled with delays related to the pandemic, a bizarre wall collapse next door, and rising construction costs, development officials have said.

Developer Lucror Resources, best known for the adaptive-reuse revival of downtown’s FlatironCity building, initially broke ground at the 40 Boulevard NE site in November 2019. The 1.5-acre lot was cleared of trees and a corner grocery store but soon went quiet as the COVID-19 pandemic clamped down. Work restarted in earnest in late-summer 2021, when the first component (a timber-built office building) was expected to open in the second quarter of this year.

That doesn’t appear likely, but by all indications, the project’s underground parking structure is coming together as columns begin to peek above street level.

Construction progress at the Waldo's site last week, with Boulevard shown at left.

We asked leasing reps for an update Tuesday on Waldo’s status—and to see if the scope or planned uses have changed. That inquiry hadn’t been returned as of press time.

At last check, Waldo’s plans called for the 119,000-square-foot, six-story office building to be erected with heavy timber—a more environmentally friendly alternative to concrete and steel that lends a vintage feel—like Hines’s T3 West Midtown at Atlantic Station. The Waldo’s hotel next door was initially expected to be the country’s first Motto By Hilton, but lodges under that brand have since opened in Washington D.C. and New York City’s Chelsea neighborhood.

Atlanta’s 147-room, nine-story Motto is still planned to include a restaurant, speakeasy, and retail in a courtyard space that connects each facet of the property, project leaders have told Urbanize Atlanta. [UPDATE: Feb. 24: Project reps send word Waldo’s below-ground parking deck is scheduled to be finished in June or July, with the office portion expected to deliver in the second quarter of 2024, and the hotel in the third quarter of 2024. The hotel has been scaled back to 100 rooms, and the food-and-beverage portion to 6,000 square feet.]

Waldo's hotel component, at left, retail, and offices. Courtesy of Lucror Resources; renderings, tvsdesign

Elsewhere on the site, plans call for a row of nine townhouses along Daniel Street.

Waldo’s unconventional name is a nod to transcendentalist poet Ralph Waldo Emerson. Have a closer look at its current state, context, and future plans in the galley above.   


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• Old Fourth Ward news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)