BY ELLIE HENSLEY
Selig Enterprises’ mixed-use development at 1105 West Peachtree is taking shape between 12th and 13th streets, and the development is set to be a major game changer for Midtown’s streets and skyline.
The components of the $530 million project include a 31-story office tower, a 178-key hotel, 64 residential units and 20,000 square feet of retail space.
We checked in with Steve Baile, Chief Development and Operating Officer, and Malloy Peterson, Senior Vice President of Development, about the project’s progress and how they have remained on schedule during a difficult year for the construction industry.
Major Tenant Announcements Ahead of COVID-19
When the project broke ground in December 2018, Selig was already negotiating with Google and law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell as major tenants. SGR will reportedly occupy five floors of the office tower. Google made headlines with its Atlanta expansion plans, but Baile said the Fortune 100 company is unable to comment on the amount of space it will occupy or the number of jobs it will create in Atlanta.
“They have played everything pretty close to the vest,” he said. “We waited for Google to announce before we said anything, but they will be a significant add to the market space with the number of jobs they create.”
Office tenants are slated to move in just over a year from now, and the development has stayed on schedule despite the global pandemic.
“There was a little anxiety in March and April as [city leadership] defined what were essential and non-essential jobs,” Baile said. “I give our general contractor Brasfield & Gorrie major credit, and our subcontractors were also very proactive. We have maintained the safest environment possible.”
Safety measures included staggering entry and requiring wristbands on the worksite and implementing symptoms and temperature testing. Anyone with symptoms of COVID-19 is required to remain away from the site until they provide a negative test and no longer have symptoms.
“They’ve controlled it very well. We had a lot of suspected cases but low incidences on the site,” Baile said. “It’s been an ongoing approach. We’re still implementing all of these safety practices.”
Standing Out Among the Skyline
Both the hotel and condo towers have topped out at 1105 West Peachtree, and the office tower continues on schedule. The unique exoskeleton design of the office tower was inspired by toy towers Baile and his team used to build as kids.
“We’re sitting in an iconic neighborhood with iconic buildings, being juxtaposed with the IBM Tower [now One Atlantic Center], and we had to figure out a way to distinguish ourselves,” Baile said. “We looked at exoskeletons worldwide where shorter buildings stood out among the skyline… We said it could be decorative, but it has to have a unique feel that’s also interactive at a pedestrian level.”
Last October, Selig reps announced the hotel would be a Marriott Autograph Collection Epicuriean Hotel. In July 2020, Selig Development announced a joint venture partnership with Rockefeller Development on 40 West 12th, a luxury condo tower, and Engel & Völkers Atlanta is overseeing sales for the project.
All three buildings are scheduled to open in Q3 2021.
Doing Right for the Neighborhood
Developments going up today will influence the character of Midtown for years to come, and Selig has taken this into account with the design of many of its projects’ details.
Among these include 1105 West Peachtree’s “Sky Plaza,” an amenity deck on the ninth floor that doubles as covering for a surface parking deck.
“When I first started doing development in Midtown, I hated exposed parking decks,” Baile said. “With our project at Plaza Midtown down on Peachtree Place and West Peachtree, we covered the parking deck and used it as a swimming pool with some grilling areas, and it was an extreme hit.”
Selig went on to use the same strategy with several other developments in Midtown, and with Sky Plaza it will create nearly an acre of outdoor space for its residents, hotel guests and office workers.
“You can call it what you want, but social distancing, or the new normal of providing outdoor gathering spaces is upon us,” Baile said.
During construction, Selig is also realigning a portion of 12th and West Peachtree Streets to better improve Midtown’s street grid. The company has done this twice before with other projects, at 11th and Peachtree Streets and 12th Street and Crescent Avenue.
“This falls into our long-term commitment of doing right for the neighborhood and providing the best experience for future tenants, residents and all the visitors that find Midtown very attractive,” Baile said.
“Selig is at the forefront of re-stitching our street framework together," said Karl Smith-Davids, Senior Project Manager of Urban Design at Midtown Alliance. "While other developers may shy away from doing so, they have the foresight to understand that a reconnected street grid benefits their project and the overall neighborhood to allow cars, bikes, scooters and pedestrians to get to their destinations as seamlessly as possible.”
The project will also be a part of the Midtown Art Walk, a half-mile promenade and linear park that will connect the Midtown and Arts Center MARTA Stations along Peachtree Walk. With cooperation from developers and private property owners, the Art Walk will include art installations, galleries, studios and outdoor dining to expand on the district’s identity as the regions “heart of the arts.”
Concept rendering for the Midtown Art Walk, showing a segment located a couple of blocks south of the 1105 West Peachtree site.
“I think the Art Walk project was brilliantly conceived,” said Peterson. “We worked in collaboration and designed it around working with Midtown Alliance from the beginning and built it back from the streets to allow for wider sidewalks and create a friendly, safe and well-lit environment.”
“The team at Selig has amazing vision and a proven track record of delivering dynamic places that people want to be,” said Ginny Kennedy, Director of Urban Design at Midtown Alliance. “The Art Walk would not be possible without their support and we value their commitment to helping us make it happen.”
Some of 1105 West Peachtree’s food and retail experience will be located along the Art Walk, which is slated to begin construction early next year between 10th and 11th Streets.
“Selig continues to raise the bar in their designs for both the benefit of their great tenants and enhancing public vitality, including their support of the Midtown Art Walk,” said Karl Smith-Davids, Senior Project Manager at Midtown Alliance.
Selig worked with the Midtown Development Review Committee, a group of 10 individuals who represent residents, property and business owners, institutions, neighborhood associations and MARTA, to hone the designs of its project. It received support from the DRC in January 2017.
“We’ve been dedicated to Midtown and providing quality projects to Midtown for close to 20 years,” Baile said. “We’re proud to continue our legacy and support.”