Atlantic Station, a live-work-play redevelopment on 138 acres of land in Midtown Atlanta, Georgia is composed of three distinct areas: the District, the Commons and the Village. Once the contaminated location of a hundred-year-old steel mill that ceased operation in 1998, the site was able to secure the Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) seal-of-approval as safe for construction on December 11, 2001. The EPA' s certification was granted after years of environmental cleanup, and the property required a $250 million investment for the building of roads, sewers and utility lines prior to beginning construction of buildings in 2002. The redevelopment is the largest of urban brownfield projects in the United States, and much of the commercial development in the District is built on top of a 15,000-slot parking structure constructed on contaminated grounds. James F. Jacoby, the president of Atlanta-based Jacoby Development, Inc. originally conceived the idea for the $2 billion plus venture in 1996, and brought AIG Global Real Estate Investment Corp., the leading project investor, on board in 1999 to form a partnership in overseeing the expansion of Atlantic Station.
The District, a one million square-foot open-air center, includes a variety of both unique and national brand shops, restaurants and a 16-screen Regal Cinema movie theater. Additionally, the District will eventually have mid to high-rise office buildings and over 300 two-story lofts developed by the Lane Company and positioned directly above shops and restaurants. Beazer Homes will be selling their 200 plus townhouses and singe-family homes in the same area. The Commons, home to a park and lake complete with fountains, is a residential neighborhood consisting of apartments, townhouses and high-rise condominiums. The park within the Commons area is envisioned to be the community gathering point for concerts and festivals. Anchored by a 366,000-square-foot IKEA home furnishing store, the first to be built in the Southeast U.S., the Village is also a residential neighborhood composed of freestanding homes and is expected to eventually serve as the meeting place of the community.
Viewed as a national model for multibillion-dollar large-scale mixed-use sustainable developments, or "cities within cities,'' the retail center was awarded the Atlanta Business Chronicle's Best in Atlanta Real Estate Award in the retail category. Atlantic Station, upon its completion, is projected to offer 5,000 residential units, including condos, townhouses and apartments; 1,000 hotel rooms; 6 million square feet of Class A offices; 2 million square feet of retail and entertainment areas; and public park space spanning a total of 11 acres. The expansive community is expected to provide living quarters for 10,000 people, job opportunities for 30,000 people and shopping and entertainment for millions. The development site, which initially was cut-off from Downtown Atlanta by two merging Interstate highways, is now accessible from a highway overpass and pedestrian bridge directly connected to the downtown area.