LARGE-SCALE URBAN REDEVELOPMENT projects are not for the faint of heart. The most ironic hurdle in the development of Atlantic Station, a 138-acre, mixed-use project on the site of a former steel manufacturing facility, was a steel shortage. But there were other roadblocks along the way, including adverse soil conditions, utility problems, and ongoing quibbles with a small army of city, county, and state agencies. The site was inaccessible to the public during the first six months of the Phase 1 sales period and the first three months of apartment pre-leasing.
These challenges only made the handsome project that much sweeter when it finally opened. An elliptical park with a five-acre lake (you'd never suspect that it's a retention pond) now serves as a shared “front yard” for the urban-chic apartment homes and condos hugging its banks. The pond is traversed by a 200-foot pedestrian bridge that links the residential buildings' amenities, including a wellness spa.
Individual building plans are equally innovative. Each building wraps around a parking garage that is completely hidden from public view. Another surprise inside each multifamily structure: an interior courtyard pool, offering sanctuary from the hustle and bustle of city life.
For decades, the interstate highway flanking what is now Atlantic Station served as a fat divider bisecting the east and west sides of town. Anew 17th Street bridge (which serves as a gateway to the village) spans the divide and reunifies the turf on either side of the expressway. A six-million-square-foot retail/entertainment district just east of the residential commons puts dwellers within walking distance of office buildings, nightclubs, restaurants, and shopping. More homes are on the way in Phase 2.
Category: Site plan; Entrant/Developer: Lane Investment and Development, Atlanta; Builder: Lane Realty Construction, Alpharetta, Ga.; Architect: James, Harwick + Partners, Dallas; Land planner: J. Lancaster Associates, Marietta, Ga.; Landscape architect: Cornerstone Gardens, Houston; Interior designer: Duncan & Miller Design, Dallas
BRAWNY AND BEAUTIFUL For nearly 100 years, the site that is now home to Atlantic Station was occupied by a steel manufacturing facility. To preserve a piece of industrial history, land planners recast artifacts salvaged from the original plant as sculptural objects amid community walking trails and landscaped courtyards.