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Old 12-23-2014, 08:58 AM
 
9,914 posts, read 6,901,969 times
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Underground: How an outsider hopes to succeed where others have failed | SaportaReport

Quote:
...It is a redevelopment challenge that has been shunned by Atlanta’s most experienced developers. Even Smith has been surprised by the number of people in Atlanta who have questioned him on why he would be willing to take on such a risky project.

After all, Underground Atlanta is now in its third incarnation, and it isn’t prospering. The first Underground opened in 1969 and closed in 1982. A second version by Rouse Co. opened in 1989, but Rouse pulled out in 1996. Atlanta developer Dan O’Leary then stepped in for a third try in 1999. The city bought him out earlier this year.
Quote:
In an interview at Underground, Smith attributed the disconnect to the history of the project and how times had changed. Today the enthusiasm around the country is in the center of cities.

And, Smith said, what is more central than Atlanta’s zero mile post – which sits at Underground Atlanta? It’s where all the rail lines, major roadways and MARTA lines intersect.

“Some of the best opportunities we have ever had have been in properties that have been in a down cycle,” said Smith, putting Underground in that group with its 45 percent vacancy rate. “It is taking its licks. But I’m really surprised that with no anchor tenant and no reason for people to come here day-to-day, over 100,000 square feet are leased right now, which tells me it certainly has potential.”
Quote:
Most of the change will occur on the upper level – what is now the street level and where most of the buildings are new low-rise construction. The plan is to build three residential towers – in partnership with a multi-family developer – with retail at street level.

“Once we start this development, you will see many other developments started by other people in the area,” Smith said. “That’s not unusual at all with our other developments. To fix Underground, we feel we need to put people above ground and give people a reason to come more often than they do. We want to turn this into a community.”
Quote:
Meanwhile, Smith was planning to meet with Georgia State University President Mark Becker, and Mayor Kasim Reed said he would be visiting with MARTA General Manager Keith Parker to discuss how they could be supportive of the Underground development.

For Smith, the Underground Atlanta development would “be the highest profile project we will have ever developed.” But it will not necessarily be the largest – depending on how it will be divided up with the multifamily partners.
Quote:
Asked if he would be putting a Wal-Mart in Underground, Smith said he expected that there would be higher-end retail in the development.
Quote:
“Underground is an iconic piece of property,” said Smith, a native of Tennessee who has lived in South Carolina for the last 25 years. “I’ve always been interested in Atlanta. It is the city of the South.”
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:24 AM
 
Location: ATLANTA
708 posts, read 778,037 times
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Quote:
Asked if he would be putting a Wal-Mart in Underground, Smith said he expected that there would be higher-end retail in the development.
Whoomp whoomp!!!! More higher end retail....I hope they can give Buckhead Atlanta some Competition.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:38 AM
 
Location: Atlanta - Midtown
743 posts, read 652,539 times
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Once we start this development, you will see many other developments started by other people in the area,” Smith said. “That’s not unusual at all with our other developments. To fix Underground, we feel we need to put people above ground and give people a reason to come more often than they do. We want to turn this into a community.

That is the most exciting aspect about this project. I hope it really activates the whole area for residential growth.
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:38 AM
 
913 posts, read 981,678 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by thebigATL View Post
Whoomp whoomp!!!! More higher end retail....I hope they can give Buckhead Atlanta some Competition.
Prob he meant by having a city target
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Old 12-23-2014, 10:43 AM
Status: "Ready for Fall" (set 23 days ago)
 
Location: Atlanta
4,646 posts, read 3,018,670 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kasuga888 View Post
Prob he meant by having a city target
Exactly. Bloomingdale's isn't coming to Five Points.

A City Target could actually be a perfect match.
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Old 12-23-2014, 11:04 AM
 
Location: East Atlanta
454 posts, read 426,511 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JMatl View Post
Exactly. Bloomingdale's isn't coming to Five Points.

A City Target could actually be a perfect match.
That would be great. The closest ones to downtown are Atlantic Station and Edgewood. This could definitely fill a big gap.
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Old 12-23-2014, 12:35 PM
 
253 posts, read 215,562 times
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I`m open for whatever will bring jobs that isn't run Janky like walmart.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:04 PM
 
76 posts, read 68,987 times
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The critical element of the redevelopment of the Five Points commercial district is the block between Alabama Street and MLK -its location and physical structures present a great deal of potential adaptive reuse of the current retail mix. Underground and the MARTA Five Points station's rehab should provide a strong catalyst for some exciting potential for the district as the Super Bowl and other major events loom over the next 5 years.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:47 PM
 
28,134 posts, read 24,659,949 times
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I have a feeling this time may be the charm.
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Old 12-23-2014, 01:59 PM
 
Location: East Atlanta
454 posts, read 426,511 times
Reputation: 423
I like the part where he said the low-rise new construction retail section would be replaced with THREE residential towers. Me likey very much.
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