Saturday, February 20, 2016

Major New Development to Rise at Buckhead Place

After a few delays, Coro Realty Advisors, an Atlanta-based commercial real estate firm, plans to construct a major multi-use development on Piedmont Road in Buckhead.

The project will be located north of Peachtree Road and adjacent to the Piedmont Crossing shopping center — home to the Disco Kroger— that will include 40,000 square feet of retail/restaurant and office space, a 186-room hotel and 190 apartments.

Named Buckhead Place, the present 150,000-square-foot shopping center is anchored by LA Fitness, Marshalls, an apartment building and a Hyatt Place hotel.

The two retail parts of the new development front on Piedmont Road and the hotel and apartment lobbies will front on the private access road that runs from Piedmont Road to Maple Drive.

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The south portion of the development consists of approximately 5,500 square feet of retail/restaurant space on the first floor and include a 186-room, eight story Hampton Inn & Suites hotel.

The new hotel will be an addition to the existing and nearby Hampton Inn Atlanta - Buckhead on Piedmont Road, and will offer suites, whereas the present property does not. 

The current Hampton Inn hotel is six floors, 153 rooms.  The new hotel is scheduled to welcome its first guests in early 2018. 

The north side of the development has approximately 33,000 square feet of retail, restaurant and office space on two levels that is along Piedmont Road and then wraps down the private drive and into an internal courtyard.

On the north side of the drive there will be 190 apartment units planned with a 7-story deck plus underground parking.

The amenity deck is the top level of the parking.

The project is slated to break ground in the second quarter of 2016 and will be built in phases, with grading and clearing scheduled to begin in the second quarter of this year.

Construction is expected to begin in the third or fourth quarter of this year.

Cooper Carry is the architectural firm for the development with Lindsay Pope Brayfield Clifford & Associates being the architects for the hotel part of the development.

An earlier development proposal from 2008 included a hotel/retail building of 208,795 square feet, including 330 hotel rooms. The new plan has 186 hotel rooms in a building totaling 108,659 square feet.

Thursday, February 11, 2016

$300M Mixed-Use Development for Atlanta's Southside

A $300 million mixed-use project is planned along Interstate 75 in Henry County, a potential boon for an area south of Atlanta’s airport that’s been mostly overlooked by developers.

While plenty of mixed-use developments have cropped up north of Atlanta in the last few years, the south side of the Perimeter has yet to see significant investment.

But RCP Companies is aiming to change that. The firm recently announced their intentions to build a massive mixed-use project in McDonough.

The 160-acre development called Jodeco/Atlanta South is slated to bring $300 million of investment to Henry County.

The project would rise on what today is vacant land at I-75 and Jodeco, Chambers and Mt. Olive roads. It would include more than 500,000 square feet of retail, 600 residential units, two hotels and a 30-acre park.

Philadelphia, Pa.-based Lubert-Adler Real Estate Funds is providing financing for the project. It could become the single largest investment ever for the city of Stockbridge. It would also show the willingness of capital partners to bet on the growth of suburban commercial nodes south of Interstate 20. “There’s been nothing of this size,” said Dale Hall, administration and community services director for Stockbridge.

Hall added the project could become a major destination for south Atlanta and a catalyst for growth. “We are really excited about the potential,” he said.

The project is inspired by other dense communities that have sprung up across the country and in metro Atlanta, such as Alpharetta’s Avalon.

Those projects, to combat rising e-commerce sales, have created experience-rich shopping and dining destinations in affluent areas such as in-town Atlanta and north Fulton County.

RCP is making a bet on Henry County, which doesn’t have the same concentration of high paying jobs. Unlike Avalon developer North American Properties, the company is targeting more value-oriented retailers that reflect demand in Henry County.

Pittsburgh, Pa.-based Urban Design Associates is the master planner. The project’s first phase could break ground in early fall, with an opening set for later in 2017.

Developers hope to attract an organic grocer and a large sporting goods chain. The project would also feature a 22,000-square-foot food hall.

“We would be the only one in south Atlanta to offer that kind of product,” said Max Grelier, chief development officer for RCP Companies. “We are doing this at a scale to meet demand in the market. We feel like this is an emerging market.”

A market study from Robert Charles Lesser & Co. that said Henry County can support up to an additional 750,000 square feet of retail over the next five years. Within a five-mile radius of the project, annual retail expenditures are estimated at $755 million, or 46 percent of total household expenses.

Stockbridge is looking at a public-private partnership to help fund an outdoor amphitheater at the project, but said it was too early to discuss details. Developers are also seeking approval of the project for annexation into Stockbridge. A meeting is set for March.

Existing wetlands on the site would become an amenity for visitors with a bike path, boardwalk bridge and trails. The project would also have a direct connection to Henry Town Center, a massive retail project with big-box tenants.

Some local retail experts see the project as an exciting investment for Henry County. The area has a tremendous population density that is highly attractive to expanding retailers.

The project will draw from a large trade area that is currently drastically underserved by cutting-edge, mixed-use projects offering significant unique dining, entertainment and recreational amenities.

Monday, February 1, 2016

Hard Rock to Build 800-Room Guitar-Shaped Hotel in Hollywood

The oversized guitar has long been a beacon for the Hard Rock Casino chain, but the Seminole Hard Rock Hollywood is looking to take to take that iconic symbol to new heights.

Plans for a colossal guitar-shaped hotel tower stretching 34 stories and containing 800 rooms were unveiled this week during a news conference with Gov. Rick Scott.

The tower is the feature attraction in the Seminole Tribe's $1.8 billion expansion plans. The structure looks every bit a guitar in scale but doesn't have a neck.

"We could have easily just built some rectangular building ... but the tribe is once again trying to create something that is iconic, that creates international tourism coming to Florida," said Seminole Gaming CEO Jim Allen. "We truly believe that that design alone will create additional tourism."

The expansion plans, contingent on the Legislature's approval of a deal brokered between the tribe and the governor, include the hotel tower and restaurants. The expansion is expected to bring nearly 20,000 jobs to Florida, the Seminoles said.

The hotel will increase the complex's rooms to 1,273 and add five new restaurants, a buffet and nightclub at its complex on U.S. 441 north of Sterling Road.

The tribe is committed to rivaling Las Vegas and other casino destinations around the world. "We truly think this will rival not only anything in Florida, but Atlantis and anything in the world," Allen said, pointing to an artist rendering on an easel.

The expansion includes spending almost $100 million on swimming pool space, Allen said. The plan adds a second pool and new pool bar. "Florida is about pools and the beaches and the ocean."

He said that while the aim is to create a destination that will continue to attract crowds many years from now, the expansion doesn't stretch far beyond the casino's current footprint.

While Allen focused on the Hollywood expansion, he also discussed plans for the Seminole Hard Rock Tampa, which will have new poker rooms, stores and restaurants.

The Tampa hotel and casino will also add a new tower with 500 hotel rooms and a live entertainment venue with up to 2,000 seats.

For the more affluent gamblers, there will be a helipad.

Scott asked numerous questions during the presentation. His verdict at the end: "Impressive."

Several business owners who work with the Seminole Tribe stood at a microphone and discussed how their businesses had been affected by the casinos.

A flower shop owner who started working with the Seminoles in 2010, said her business has grown from five employees to more than 100 full-and part-time employees. She said she buys and installs over 35,000 flowers annually at the casino.

From the onset, the emphasis was jobs. "It would be devastating" if the proposed deal doesn't pass.
Scott rehashed the numbers: 3,800 jobs lost if the gambling deal isn't signed and 4,800 direct and indirect jobs created, outside of construction jobs, if it passes.

The gambling deal would bring $3 billion to the state over the next seven years. In return, the Seminoles would get the exclusive right to have roulette, craps and other table games in its seven casinos.

The deal also caps the number of slots and tables casinos can have, but critics point out that the caps are so large they are essentially meaningless, including a 6,000-slot limit at any one casino.

The agreement also states that the Legislature can approve new casinos in Miami-Dade and Palm Beach counties, a limited amount of blackjack tables in pari-mutuels and even allowing the race tracks to stop racing and simply operate as casinos.