UPDATE (Oct. 3, 2018): Former Harp Transmission Space To Become ‘The Harp’ Restaurant and Bar
Philippe Pellerin, the developer behind The Beacon Atlanta, is making moves again, this time to restore and expand the former Harp Transmission building at 350 Memorial Dr., into a restaurant, retail, and office development that acts as an amenity to the park where it’s situated.
“We’re really interested in building something that acts as a true amenity to the park, fashioned by community input and engagement,” Pellerin of Pellerin Real Estate, told What Now Atlanta (WNA) in a telephone interview Friday.
Pellerin and his partners Clark Property R+D have quietly been meeting with neighborhood stakeholders to shape the vision for the Grant Park project before “going public.”
Ahead of transforming Harp Transmission into a 30,000 to 36,000-square-foot project, Pellerin is looking to restore the existing automotive service structure for immediate use of a restaurant for which a lease is expected to be signed next week. The restaurant would use the space for a minimum of 6 months and up to three years before the new additions are constructed.
The soon-to-be-announced restaurant would have a sit-down component but also a “picnic basket takeout program” where patrons could grab lunch to take to the adjacent park, picnic-style. The program would “create a new dynamic for how the park gets activated.”
Pellerin is working closely with Park Pride to “create a dialogue around how the park should be developed.” Park Pride has committed a $45,000 grant for planning around the park, he said. The planning process takes about nine months and involves community engagement meetings.
Once Pellerin gets the necessary approvals to build the full-scale development, the temporary restaurant could take one of the permanent ground-floor spaces alongside two boutiques (such as a toy or pet store) and a coffee shop, totaling 8,000 square feet. An additional 22,000 to 28,000 square feet would be dedicated to an atrium and lobby, and the offices above.
The project, on Memorial Drive near Oakland Cemetery and “500 feet” from the King Memorial MARTA station, is poised to be the “first transit-oriented development” in Atlanta.
“Our plan is to develop this project with virtually no parking by building a patio that will cut the huge sea of existing parking in half. We can’t keep clogging our roads with cars. The parking needs to be treated as secondary to the community that can walk, bike, and ride MARTA here.”
But building a development in Atlanta without parking isn’t easy because the City has “parking minimums.”
“There are thousands of apartments opening soon and hundreds of homes in Grant Park. We can be successful because the people who will work here and patronize our tenants will come from the community.”
Pellerin thinks the City would require a project of this size to house somewhere around 50 spaces, but is confident his team can skirt around those requirements by “special exemption” or by utilizing neighboring parking structures with complimentary uses.
“Everyone wants to see responsible development and a developer that really takes the community’s thoughts into consideration. Rather than us proposing something that works for zoning and works for the numbers, we’ve really started honing in on what the community wants.”
[Editor’s note: an earlier version of this article indicated that Park Pride’s grant was $250,000, as quoted by Pellerin. The figure has since been updated to reflect the correct grant amount of $45,000.]