The part of town Poncey-Highland and Old Fourth Ward between Ponce de Leon Avenue and Ralph McGill Boulevard will, in my opinion, in the next few years become one of the most bustling parts of Atlanta. The extensive transformation of City Hall East into Ponce City Market, a planned retail, restaurant, commercial, and residential mega-development that could become the new hub of northeast Atlanta, is well underway. At least four other residential developments, that we know of, have been proposed nearby. In addition, Beltline officials are seeking designs for a ramp linking Historic Fourth Ward Park to the Eastside Trail via property owned by the Trust for Public Land (PDF), which could signal that officials are eager to pursue the parcel. (We've also heard that Georgia Power, which manages an operating headquarters next door to the park and adjacent to the Beltline, is open to offers on its property. A Georgia Power spokesman tells us, however, that he and other executives familiar with such matters are unaware of any efforts to unload the property.)
Yesterday, North American Properties broke ceremonial ground on one of those proposed residential developments: Bohemian House, or BOHO as it's known, a 276-unit complex overlooking the park and retention pond. The $35-million, one- and two-bedroom apartment development, once it opens next fall, will occupy two separate blocks along Rankin Street. The multi-rise project is geared toward the growing number of Millennials who want to both live in walkable areas and swim in a salt-water, "resort-style" pool. Resident parking will be self-contained but NAP added 50 on-street spaces for the community, which could allow people from outside the neighborhood to experience the park. (I should note that NAP, which owns Atlantic Station's retail district, is CL's leaseholder.)
We'll leave the critiquing and/or praising of BOHO to the commenters, but interesting to note: We learned while attending yesterday's groundbreaking that the project was originally proposed to look slightly different, but the developers, city planners, and Beltline officials — surprise! — worked together to make tweaks to improve the design. Among them: not eliminating Wilmer Street which runs north and south between the two parcels. Originally, we've been told, the developers wanted to get rid of the street, but agreed that creating a superblock wasn't keeping with the Beltline vision or making the area more walkable. (Now if someone could just do the same for the Midtown Promenade/Midtown Place Shopping Center properties superblock.)
Here's hoping that type of collaboration between project officials and developers continues as more and more projects get pitched along the Beltline. It'd be a shame to have spent so much time, effort, and public money on planning and infrastructure just to see a subpar development be built adjacent to the project.
Only two weeks to pour the foundation and assemble?
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