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November 2023 DRC Recap: Small Modifications Intended for Two Sites

Proposed Changes at Woodruff Arts Center Street Frontage and Olympic Torch Site


Two applicants presented cases at the November 14 meeting of the Midtown Development Review Committee (DRC). The Woodruff Arts Center proposed extending a parallel parking lane to facilitate additional bus parking and potential evening valet service. Following, the team for the ‘Centennial Torch’ tower at 70 3rd Street presented modifications including new exterior fencing, tower cladding, and signage. Read more about both proposals below:

1280 Peachtree Street – Woodruff Arts Center

The DRC appreciated the applicant’s request to extend parallel parking along the west side of Peachtree Street. This extension would serve cars and buses during the day and potential future valet service in the evening. To facilitate this extension one streetlight would need to be relocated and the sidewalk would be straightened by shaving back a small portion of an existing diagonal low wall and rocky landscaped area. The committee was excited to hear that that this was the first phase of a new campus master plan to improve access and aesthetics. The DRC provided minor comments on the project as follows:

DRC Recommendations:

  • Reposition the new Peachtree ‘Type C’ streetlight to be centered between existing streetlights.
  • Explore providing a waiting/queuing plaza adjacent to the sidewalk to aid in bus pickups.
  • If necessary, provide a low retaining wall at the back of the new sidewalk (15’ from the street curb) along the rocky landscaped area near the existing Ginko tree.
  • As part of the next phase, examine extending the parallel parking spaces southward along the block.
  • As part of the next phase, consider a monumental stair/ramp system complementary to the adjacent Memorial Arts Building’s architecture with incorporated campus wayfinding and restaurant signage (to replace the existing freestanding sign).

Next Steps: The committee expects to receive updated info for electronic review to confirm that these minor recommendations will be addressed.

70 3rd Street – Centennial (Torch) Tower

The DRC reviewed alterations of the existing ‘Centennial Tower’ at the western edge of 3rd St. adjacent and visible from the highway. A new 8’ tall column and railing fence is proposed at the periphery of the site.

The existing 16-0” tall cylindrical building would have a new 16’-9” tall parapet wall installed while the tower structure and upper cylindrical section would be reclad. Digital static signage is proposed on the parapet wall and upper cylindrical section. The DRC raised concern that the current proposal is not practical for an office/ticketing use and did not meet applicable code per following comments:

DRC Recommendations:

  • Provide direct access to the front entry by removing the fencing facing 3rd St. Also, clarify the location for max 6’ tall fencing interior to the lot as well as at the east (alley) and south property line. If security is still a concern, provide additional lighting and a prickly Holly shrub variety in combination with the periphery fencing.
  • Although not required, consider providing one or two accessible parking spaces east of the cylindrical building to serve the proposed office/ticketing use.
  • The signage proposed did not meet the appliable City sign ordinance which prohibits signs above roofs and only allows defined “building signature signs…on buildings four or more stories in height...” Moreover, the size of the proposed building signature signs greatly exceeds its size allocation “at only 5% of the area of the wall it is affixed”. The DRC asks the City to carefully review this proposal to confirm if this signage is allowed and, if so, to what size.

Next Steps: The committee expects to receive updated plans along with sign interpretations from the City Staff. Following both, a determination will be made whether this case should be re-reviewed via email or in person at the next regularly scheduled DRC meeting.

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