A multinational development group intends to find out. Olympia Heights Management said it will start construction by year-end on a 74-story tower that would reach new heights in Midtown in more ways than one.
The tower, to be called 98 Fourteenth Street, would be one of the city’s tallest buildings and would feature the largest number of luxury high-rise condos in any single project in Atlanta since the Great Recession.
It will rise on a site once destined for a new symphony hall. OHM acquired the property in 2014 from Woodruff Arts Center, and at the time proposed a project featuring three towers.
The company now plans two towers and a retail and restaurant plaza, said Kathy Zickert, an attorney with Smith Gambrell & Russell who is representing the developers.
The second tower, a 68-story structure still early in the design concept, could include a luxury hotel and apartments, she said. The developers are in talks with high-end restaurants, a grocer and luxury spa and fitness center operators.
Zickert said the total scale of the project is similar to the original three-tower design, though the retail portion has grown.
Renderings from design group Perkins+Will show a modern glass tower soaring above Midtown landmarks such as 1180 Peachtree and One Atlantic Center (the gold tipped skyscraper often called the IBM building).
OHM’s first tower is expected to include 180 high-end “extended stay” units — think apartments aimed at globetrotting executives in need of housing for a few months — and 380 condominiums priced from about $700,000 into the millions.
Metro high-rise development has been dominated by rental apartments since the Great Recession, and there’s little high-rise condo product on the market.
Roni Avraham, OHM director of development, said the firm has a mix of Israeli and American investor equity in place and is working to obtain financing. He said condo pre-sales could start early next year.
“We believe there is a big market here in Atlanta,” he said. “You are talking about people who are 30, 35, 40 years old working in Atlanta, people who are empty nesters who want to move to Midtown in a high-end lifestyle.”
A number of luxury condo towers struggled to sell units in the wake of the financial collapse. Downtown’s W hotel and condo tower and the Atlantic at Atlantic Station were among the towers that were taken back by their lenders when condos were left unsold. Those towers have since recovered.
Avraham said Atlanta’s market is stronger, and cited demand he expects to be spurred by new headquarters relocations to Midtown, such as NCR.
“Midtown in three years, you will not recognize it,” Avraham said of his and other projects under development.
Ladson Haddow, vice president of Atlanta real estate consulting firm Haddow & Co., said all of the new luxury condo projects in the Atlanta pipeline offer no more than 75 units in an individual project.
“The luxury market is healthy right now, but history has indicated that luxury product sells at a slower pace,” he said. “To deliver that many units in a luxury project would likely take a while to sell out.”
By: J. Scott Trubey at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution