These 26 projects will radically transform Memorial Drive

An eastside industrial corridor is now the focus of a real estate land rush

April 2016Comments

Memorial Drive Atlanta
Map by Haisam Hussein. Scroll down for an interactive version.

Since early 2014, the two-mile stretch of Memorial Drive east of the Downtown Connector has become the site of one of Atlanta’s biggest development booms. Given its proximity to both downtown and the Atlanta BeltLine’s Eastside Trail, an assortment of builders plans to spend north of $600 million—more than double the expected redevelopment costs for Turner Field—on more than two dozen projects along the former industrial corridor.

“We’re going to see investment in this area for the foreseeable future,” says Greg Giuffrida, Central Atlanta Progress’s point person for Memorial Drive planning and outreach.

With more than 1,300 apartments and condos under development, Paces Properties CEO David Cochran envisions the strip becoming “the next Inman Park.” But it’s more than housing: Proposals include everything from freestanding restaurants (Grindhouse Killer Burgers) to basic services like dry cleaning and daycare (Larkin on Memorial) to the state’s mammoth new judicial complex. And, who knows, maybe that momentum will help push pie-in-the-sky projects into motion, such as a proposal to “cap” the Connector with a grassy park.


Tap on each shaded box on the map to learn more about each project.
Items in purple are recently completed
Items in red are in the works
Items in blue are long-term projects

Liberty Plaza
Size 2.2 acres
The plan For many years, this parcel was home to a parking deck for state lawmakers headed to the Gold Dome. However, the site has found a new life as a greenspace that can be reserved for political rallies and protests.
Estimated cost $4.4 million
Target Date Completed in 2015

“Capping” the Connector
Size 5.5 acres
The plan Civic planners want to pour a concrete slab over the interstate and top it with grass. The project, which currently has no funding, is part of a larger plan to create a linear park from the State Capitol to Oakland Cemetery.
Estimated cost At least $125 million
Target date Not for a while. A similar project in Dallas took a decade to complete.

State Judicial Complex
Size 5.8 acres
The plan The windowless former Georgia Archives building will be razed and replaced with a new home for the state Supreme Court and Appeals Court.
Estimated cost At least $110 million
Target date 2019

Memorial Drive Linear Park
Size 14 acres
The plan Urban planners would like to turn the strip between Memorial and MLK Drive (Daddy D’z notwithstanding) into a linear park stretching from the Connector to Oakland Cemetery.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date TBA

Capitol Gateway A
Size 9 acres
The plan Integral Develop­ment and Urban Realty Partners plan to launch the second phase of Capitol Gateway, which now includes more than 400 mixed-income rental units.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date TBA

Grant Park Apartments
Size 3.6 acres
The plan This not-actually-in-Grant Park apartment project would include 324 units at the former home of the Eyedrum art space. Fairfield Residential is shooting for a lower price point than many apartment projects now being built.
Estimated cost $55 million
Target Date TBA

The George
Size 1.43 acres
The plan The endearingly seedy Azar liquor store closed last year—to be replaced by a 130-unit apartment building with restaurants and retail. Appropriately, the development is named the George, a nod to the package store’s longtime owner, George Azar. “We’d like to do a wine and beer shop there,” says Mark Riley of Urban Realty Partners.
Estimated cost $23 million
Target date February 2017

The Leonard
Size 1.1 acre
The plan The former site of Lenny’s, the dive bar where the Black Lips and Deerhunter got their start, is now the site of an 85-unit apartment building.
Estimated cost $10 million
Target date Completed in 2014

MARTA’s King Memorial Station
Size 4.4 acres
The plan In one of its first transit-oriented projects, MARTA will team up with Walton Communities to turn a parking lot into a mixed-use development with nearly 400 apartments and retail shops next to the station.
Estimated cost $60 million
Target date 2017

Capitol Gateway B
Size 1.5 acres
The plan The land is owned by the Atlanta Housing Authority. If the rental market continues to grow, the site could one day be developed as another expansion of the Capitol Gateway project.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date TBA

The Parker
Size 2.35 acres
The plan Atlantic Realty will replace an auto parts warehouse with a 238-unit luxury apartment building. The name refers to the family that owned a gas station there in the 1940s and 1950s.
Estimated cost $50 million
Target date Late 2017

Larkin on Memorial
Size 4 acres
The plan Habitat for Humanity’s former Atlanta HQ will be retrofitted with loft offices, restaurants, and a neighborhood grocery.
Estimated cost $18 million
Target date Early 2017

Walter Davis project
Size .5 acres
The plan Though no deal has been finalized, owner Walter Davis envisions a one- or two-story project with retail (bank or pharmacy) and food.
Estimated cost $2.5 million
Target date 2017

The Cube
Size .4 acres
The plan Expect an art-friendly cafe with bocce ball and board games. Food and, eventually, beer and wine will be served.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date Summer 2016

Brother Moto
Size .5 acres
The plan After having been forced out of East Atlanta, the motorcycle co-op plans to open a DIY repair shop and espresso bar in yet another Paces project.
Estimated cost $2 million
Target date Summer 2016

Grindhouse Killer Burgers
Size 1 acre
The plan The former Bar One—also owned by the busy Paces Properties—will become the seventh location for the seven-year-old local burger chain.
Estimated cost $2 million
Target date Early 2017

Charles Tate project
Size 1 acre
The plan According to developer Charlie Tate, his small, mixed-use project would include 22 condos, five town homes, and some retail.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date 2017

Urban Realty Partners project
Size 4 acres
The plan The Nextran trucking firm has a lease on the site for another two years. Once that deal ends, Urban Realty Partners will consider a development—possibly anadaptive reuse—with 300 residential units and offices.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date 2019

Habitat for Humanity HQ
Size 5.4 acres
The plan After outgrowing its old HQ on Memorial, Habitat for Humanity Atlanta moved half a mile to the east. The organization’s new home features a Family Support Center and ReStore.
Estimated cost $12 million
Target date Completed in 2014

Atlanta Dairies
Size 10 acres
The plan Paces Properties, now working on several Memorial projects, plans to transform this defunct dairy co-op into a millennial-minded development with a live music venue, 24-hour diner, and office space.
Estimated cost $125 million
Target date 2017

841 Memorial
Size
1.1 acres
The plan
Enfold Properties is currently building 80 “loft-style” apartments within a stone’s throw of where the BeltLine meets Memorial Drive.
Estimated cost
$11 million
Target date
Summer 2016

The Lofts at Reynoldstown Crossing
Size 1 acre
The plan The first phase of the project—owned by Atlanta BeltLine Inc.—was finished in 2012, with 29 condo units. Phase II is still on the drawing board.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date TBA

Leggett and Platt
Size 15 acres
The plan Developer Jeff Fuqua foresees a sprawling project with more than 600 units of housing, tech offices, restaurants, a grocery store, and a movie theater.
Estimated cost $250-$300 million
Target date 2018

The Heritage on Memorial
Size 1.3 acres
The plan Homebuilder John Weiland plans to build 20 single-family luxury townhomes with his new venture, JW Collection.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date TBA

Urban Realty Partners project (Current WonderRoot site)
Size 1.9 acres
The plan URP has acquired several parcels owned on this block. For now, WonderRoot will stay until it moves across the street next year. Expect some kind of development to follow, possibly more residential.
Estimated cost TBA
Target date Sometime after 2017

WonderRoot
Size 8 acres
The plan The Reynoldstown arts organization will move across the street into a vacant Atlanta high school building 14 times larger than its current home. New amenities include 45 artist studios, plus a performance space, recording studio, and restaurant.
Estimated cost $2.8 million for renovations
Target date 2017

This article originally appeared in our April 2016 issue.

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  • JC

    So…is Mi Barrio getting displaced by the Walter Davis project? Cause that would suck.

  • jksak3

    When I moved to Reynoldstown, my family looked at Memorial Drive and thought I had made a grave mistake. Not long later, it’s looking like one of the most interesting streets in the entire metro.

  • Thegloballocal

    Let’s wait and see how many of these projects actually come to fruition.

  • DAinGA

    I volunteer at Oakland and I am dreading the new building in the King Memorial Parking lot. It will eliminate the amazing view of the capital and downtown from the cemetery. Bad enough that terrible self storage place went up and not you have to see that eyesore from Oakland but at least it doesn’t block a great view.

  • elizaday

    A missing project from this list is The New School, a private, innovative high school that will enhance the burgeoning educational ecosystem and increase the livability for the area.
    http://tnsatlanta.org/

  • Brendan McKee

    Is The Parker project correct?
    http://www.goarp.com/development-experience/the-parker/
    Their website slates that for Chicago.

    Personally I’d hate to have an ultra modern high rise in the middle of a historic district…

  • CallingAllAholes

    Atlanta has lost all its charm in exchange for the money king.

  • Jeremy Wilhelm

    Would be cool to see an update on this article. Most of the dates for completion are close to now or passed. It actually looks like almost all with an actual completion date have at least broken ground (George, Parker, Grant Park Apts., Larkin, and Atl Dairies). The King Memorial project seems to have disappeared, which is too bad…