Phase II of Portman Holdings Development Announced
Plus: Trend in Townhouses Continues + Georgia Tech Introduces the "Microgrid"
The Midtown Development Review Committee saw three projects this month including a new office tower, an expanded townhouse project and an outdoor power research facility.
712 West Peachtree Street
Portman debuted their latest addition to the West Peachtree corridor in the form of a 23-story glass tower. The spec office building will occupy the current site of Midtown Bank on the NW corner of West Peachtree Street and 3rd Street. The bank will be relocated into the ground floor of the new tower as part of 5,100 SF of retail uses. Floors 2 through 6 function as a partially enclosed parking podium, which could be connected to the adjacent parking deck now under construction at 740 West Peachtree. Above the podium, 15 levels provide 335,000 SF of office space. Access to the parking would solely originate along 3rd Street while pedestrian access to ground floor uses would be primarily from West Peachtree Street. Loading will be handled via the existing alley. The committee requested more refinement of the sidewalk level experience to make it more dynamic and visually engaging during the day and at night. More attention is needed around opportunities for tenant branding and customization consistent with the guidelines in Midtown’s Storefront Checklist. The committee recommended further study of the lowest level along 3rd Street to provide direct access and more daylight into the space. Other minor comments included: 1) Providing a dedicated 4’ walkway to connect from parking area to public sidewalks; 2) Narrowing the curbcut width along 3rd Street; and 3) Further recessing the gate arm into the building footprint in order to allow for additional queuing of cars on-site rather than in the street. Thus, the committee recommended preliminary support for the plan and related variations but withheld full support until additional information could be provided.
200 14th Place - Park Modern
Office of Design provided an expanded townhouse proposal which originally was presented to the DRC in April. The updated scheme now has frontage along 14th Street and consists of 18 units, 4-stories each, with a 6,000 SF courtyard on an L-shaped lot accessible by a single perimeter driveway. The DRC generally supported the proposal with the following comments: 1) design the driveway to be one way only - entering from 14th Place and existing onto 14th St. with a right turn only, and 2) to revise the unit fronting 14th Street by bringing the building edge closer to the street, with an expanded front patio and a low retaining wall to match the adjacent property on 14th Street. These recommendations reinforce consistency with the surrounding context and provide more useable space for the end unit. With these minor adjustments, the committee recommended support for the plan and related variations.
760 Spring St - Microgrid
West of the Georgia Tech Hotel parking garage along Williams St. and north of 4th St. is a sliver of land with an existing water detention pond. Georgia Tech has partnered with Georgia Power to re-imagine this area with a new alternative energy generation facility known as a ‘Microgrid’. The power generation will used for research and delivered to the High Performance Computing Center at CODA one block east. The new energy components would be placed on a platform and screened with 7’-12’ high fence with an applied graphic wrap. The DRC acknowledged the need for the safety screening and alternative tree spacing due to the unique requirements of the project, which otherwise would not have been allowed. However, they noted four conditions for the enclosure 1) the graphic wrap for the screen should display only educational information or artwork; 2) noise should be mitigated with sound dampening materials; 3) the fence should not block the pedestrian path from the parking structure; and 4) any equipment outside the perimeter fencing should be screened from view of Williams St. with vegetation. The committee recommended support for the plan upon adequately addressing each of these issues.