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Representatives for Middle Street Partners on Tuesday presented to the Midtown Development Review Committee (DRC) the developer’s plans for a 40-story residential project along a block of Juniper Street.
Plans for the project call for a pair of towers totaling 470 apartments on a site that currently includes popular Atlanta restaurants Joe’s on Juniper and Einstein’s, What Now Atlanta reported last week. The project would be built in phases, with a 40-story, 320-unit Phase 1 tower followed by a 32-story, 150-unit Phase 2 tower. Corner retail would be included at both ends of the project site, which stretches along Juniper between 11th and 12th Streets.
Though Metrotainment Cafes, the owner of the two restaurants, said last week it is selling the businesses’ real estate and couldn’t provide more information, Middle Street Partners said in a statement Tuesday that it is “committed to working together in hopes to keep the beloved Einstein’s and Joe’s on Juniper as part of the new project.”
Committee feedback Tuesday evening ranged from questions about the project’s interaction with the street level to concerns about traffic to praise for the design of its facade. The apartment project would provide 694 parking spaces in a six-story podium accessible mid-block along Juniper Street, just across the street from the 38-story office tower at 1075 Peachtree St. NE.
“On the whole, the building is pretty handsome,” MT Studio Architecture principal Tarver Siebert, a review committee member, said during the meeting. “It just needs a little more development at the street level, where it hits the ground.”
The project team, which includes Brock Hudgins Architects, said during the meeting it is aiming to present a final plan in one month that incorporates comments and suggestions from the committee.
“You could see we’re at a little bit of a crossroads, which is why this meeting was timely,” Brock Hudgins Architects principal Ben Hudgins said. “I agree with you. It’s underdeveloped at the street level at this point.”
Plans presented this week call for 9,500 square feet of retail floor area along with two leasing offices and a lobby on the ground level. Midtown Alliance Senior Project Manager Karl Smith-Davids said that the proposed project’s amount of lobby and leasing area space on the street level crossed a 50-percent limit allowed by base zoning, a variation that Hudgins went on to say the project team would look to rectify.
On the residential side, the project would include “a pretty even mix” of studios, one-bedrooms, and two-bedrooms, with three-bedrooms representing 5 percent of the total in accordance with zoning regulations, Hudgins said. The taller tower would reach a maximum height of 398 feet, plans show.
“The site here is interesting in that it starts to blur the line between Midtown commercial and Midtown residential,” Hudgins said early on in the meeting.
“We think that this site in particular – because it is right on Juniper and deals with that transition [the Juniper St. Transition Area] – provides a really great opportunity to do something really nice.”