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Proposed Rehab Projects Geared Towards Public Space Enhancements
July DRC Recap
The Midtown Development Review Committee saw two new rehab projects this month – both focusing on public space enhancements to provide venues for outdoor gathering.
1389, 1401, and 1409 Peachtree Street
At the north end of the district, Parkside Partners recently acquired three buildings on the northeast corner of Peachtree and 17th Street and is working with ASD|SKY on an adaptive reuse concept. As part of repositioning 1389, 1401 and 1409 Peachtree Street, they plan to give the buildings a more contemporary facelift and provide active public space across the front, intended to function as an outdoor living room. The DRC emphasized two primary concerns with current plans: (1) the circulation pattern for vehicular ingress and egress is not sufficiently clear to understand the impact on Peachtree Street and the adjacent residential neighborhood of Ansley Park, and (2) the proposed trellis structure across the Peachtree frontage needs additional refinement to serve as an enhancement to the project rather than a distracting element. The committee encouraged the applicant to explore additional options for using the architecture of the buildings to engage the plaza and adjacent pedestrian environment. Parkside Partners will present the plans to Ansley Park this evening and the DRC recommended review and comment by NPU-E.
675 West Peachtree Street
The second project is located on the south end of the district at 675 West Peachtree Street. This 49 story, 1.4 million SF tower is known locally as the AT&T building. Recently acquired by New York-based Ichan Enterprises, the project is being led by CBRE with landscape design by HGOR and interior design by IDEA|SPAN. The first phase focuses on interior updates to the lobby and reimagining the expansive, multi-level plaza that fronts on West Peachtree. The DRC was generally supportive of proposed plaza enhancements and encouraged the applicant add more landscape elements and natural materials to soften the hard edges of the vent enclosures for the MARTA tunnel, which spans the length of the plaza below grade. Moreover, the committee stressed the need for strategic retail anchors within the vast plaza, whether temporary kiosks or more permanent structures, to provide a compelling destination that would attract and sustain activity throughout the day. They reinforced the importance of sufficient infrastructure, such as access to power and water, to make activation feasible and cited well-known national examples such as the kiosks in Bryant Park as relevant models for creating destination drivers suited both to a daytime population as well as residents and theater-goers. AT&T is projected to fully vacate the building by 2021.