On Tuesday, Oct. 10, North American Properties (NAP) officially broke ground on the reimagined Colony Square, a redevelopment project that will transform Midtown’s iconic office towers and dated retail center into an urban entertainment and dining destination infused with art, cultural experiences, events and street-level energy. During his speech, managing partner at North American Properties Mark Toro outlined the innovative vision for the redevelopment, including a new addition coming to Colony Square: FitLab, a first-to-market concept that houses a variety of boutique fitness operators in one central location.
Colony Square’s renovation process will be executed in multiple phases, with the third phase expected to deliver in November 2019. Yesterday’s wrecking ball demolition of Building 500 officially marked the start of construction - a historic milestone not only for Colony Square, but also for the City of Atlanta.
"North American Properties has an extraordinary track record for creating spaces of the highest quality in caliber, whether it’s Atlantic Station where they completely turned that project around or Avalon in Alpharetta. Every time they put their name on something, it becomes that much more special,” said Mayor Kasim Reed. “I couldn’t have been more pleased when I learned that they purchased Colony Square and I can’t wait to see the finished project. The reimagined Colony Square will be a great new addition to the Midtown community, already home to many world-class companies, and marked by its cultural attractions, higher education institutions and noteworthy architecture. In addition, this unique expansion will contribute to the continued success of this already thriving community which currently welcomes 65,000 daytime workers, 15,000 residents and more than six million annual visitors.”
More than 800 people gathered at the heart of Midtown to experience a taste of the reimagined Colony Square, including a sneak preview of one of Main & Main’s tenants Sukoshi, a fast-casual sushi concept by the food hall’s chef-curator Steve Palmer. Other activations throughout the celebration included inspired dishes from Donetto, also by Palmer, 5Church and Wildleaf; cocktails by Sunshine Alchemy and mixologists from Establishment; virtual reality tours of the reimagined space; the opportunity to sign the wrecking ball; music and entertainment by Mia Green Band; and speeches by Mayor Kasim Reed, president and CEO of Midtown Alliance Kevin Green, managing partner at North American Properties Mark Toro, and partner and vice president of development at North American Properties John Kelley.
"For years, our community has viewed Colony Square as one of Midtown Atlanta's greatest opportunities for transformative change, a place that could once again become an activity center," said Midtown Alliance president and CEO Kevin Green. "That day is here, made possible by committed leaders at North American Properties and the City of Atlanta, and no other single project is positioned to do more to re-energize the heart of Midtown."
During the speeches, North American Properties presented further insight into the Colony Square redevelopment plan that will encompass more than 40,000 square feet of open community gathering places; 160,000 square feet of entertainment, retail and fitness concepts, chef-driven restaurants and Main & Main, the experiential food hall; and new office space.
“Midtown is the future and there is no better place to talk about Midtown’s future than at Colony Square, an iconic reminder of Midtown’s past,” said managing partner for North American Properties Mark Toro. “Now that Midtown has grown up to be the most desirable urban experience in the Southeast, we are turning Colony Square inside out and creating an energized streetscape that will play host to entertaining the thousands of visitors and residents that cross the destination’s path daily.”
As Toro addressed the crowd, he offered a glimpse into what will become of the 160,000 square feet of dated retail space that currently occupies Colony Square. Toro announced plans to construct a six-story building wrapping the Arts Center Plaza at the corner of 15th and Peachtree Streets that will house retail and restaurants on the ground floor. The building will also serve as home to FitLab, Colony Square’s curated collection of boutique fitness operators.
FitLab is a unique, first-to-market concept that will bring together multiple “elements” to provide a holistic offering of fitness practices. Colony Square’s FitLab will encompass concepts across several categories including, barre, cycle, Pilates, strength-training, and boxing, along with a juice bar to help users stay energized before and after workouts. The only other known concept of this kind is FITROW at Assembly Row in Somerville, Massachusetts.
“FitLab will bring together best-in-class fitness concepts to create a customized, flexible fitness experience,” said Toro. “Today’s consumers are looking for ways to personalize their fitness regime and have diversity of choices, rather than being committed to one workout category. FitLab will allow users to choose from a variety of workouts – from Pilates to boxing to barre and more – all in one location, at the corner of 15th and Peachtree Streets.”
Toro also explained how the corner of 14th and Peachtree Streets would be converted into an eclectic collection of brands, bringing storefronts to the streetscape and amplifying Midtown’s diverse vibe with patio and rooftop dining. The development team shared several other features planned for Colony Square including The Grove, an outdoor gathering place that will serve as the gateway to Main & Main, the food hall curated by world-class restaurateur Steve Palmer.
“We would like to take a moment to thank our partners who have worked tirelessly to help bring this vision to life, the community for its continued support and engagement in helping to reimagine this corner of Midtown, and the City of Atlanta for paving the way towards a brighter future,” said partner and vice president of development for North American Properties John Kelley. “We have brought together a world-class team of planners, designers and contractors to build Midtown’s new living room and we look forward to celebrating the next chapter of our great city with you all.”
North American Properties and its team of ExperienceMakers™ will continue activating The Plaza to host a variety of events and activations throughout the year for the community to relish.
The first phase, opening July 2018, the 50th anniversary of Colony Square’s original groundbreaking, will include street-level restaurants and retail wrapping the 100 building. The second phase, opening 2019, will feature street-level restaurants wrapping the 400 building. The third phase, opening 2019, will include a luxury movie theater, Main & Main, modern office space and a curated collection of fitness concepts.
Cushman & Wakefield handles office leasing for Colony Square. Hoar Construction is the general contractor. Atlanta-based Lord Aeck Sargent is the architect of record and New York City-based Beyer Blinder Belle is the lead design firm. Site Solutions is the landscape and hardscape architect. Kimley-Horn is the civil engineer.
About Colony Square:
At the corner of Peachtree and 14th Streets, Colony Square is not only the heart of Midtown, it’s the heart of Atlanta – an original icon at the very center of the ever-rising capital of the modern South. Today, Colony Square is becoming an icon of another kind, bringing the Art of Modern Life to Midtown. Featuring 875,000 square feet of office space, 160,000 square feet of retail space, a 467-room hotel and 262 luxury residences, the reimagined Colony Square will be known as a foodie haven; shopping destination; sophisticated business hub; events destination; and an amenity-rich, arts-infused place to gather with community and soak up Midtown’s vibe. Open, walkable and transit-friendly, the reimagined Colony Square, like all great city squares, will be seamlessly connected to the vibrant energy of the streets around it.
About North American Properties:
Founded in 1954, North American Properties is a privately held, multi-regional real estate operating and development company that has acquired, developed and managed more than $5 billion of mixed-use, retail, multifamily and office properties across the United States. Rooted in its purpose-driven approach to development, North American Properties believes in creating great places that connect people to each other; cities to their souls; partners to opportunities; and individuals to experiences that move them. Headquartered in Cincinnati, with offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Fort Myers, Florida, the company has developed 22 million square feet of commercial space and 19,000 residential units in 15 states and 67 cities. In the past three years, North American Properties has launched 36 projects totaling $1.1 billion in total capitalization. In metro Atlanta, North American Properties led the turnaround of Atlantic Station and the ground up development of Avalon, and is currently reimagining Colony Square. For more information, please visit naproperties.com and follow North American Properties - Atlanta on Twitter @NAPatl.