Midtown Union, an estimated $1.1 billion project by global insurer MetLife, began opening this summer along Spring and West Peachtree streets. The 8.5-acre site features two towers – one for offices and another for apartments – in addition to a 14-story boutique hotel. Just steps from the Woodruff Arts Center, the three buildings were designed to reflect the neighborhood, showcasing local artists and promoting an urban lifestyle.
The doors are now open, but the work is not finished.
Global investment giant Invesco will soon move into the upper half of the Officers’ Tower, but the rest is not yet rented. Dozens of residents have begun moving into the luxurious Mira at Midtown Union apartment tower, but most units remain empty. The Kimpton-branded hotel will open in days and officials hope it will coincide with a resumption of travel from the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic. The development team is also looking for tenants for the restaurant.
Georgia’s labor market, a key driver of housing demand, remains strong, but stubborn inflation and the risk of recession are storm clouds on the horizon.
But Robbins, whose company helped develop the office tower, said he was confident the new Class A space would be let quickly.
Given the upheaval in the office market by the pandemic, he said Invesco was also an anchor tenant to provide security, and he is not concerned about renting the remaining floors. in the hot Midtown office market. Midtown’s office vacancy rate is below the city average at less than 22%, according to CBRE.
“People have been sitting at home sitting in their office, and they may feel like it’s better for them, but I think in the long run they’re going to realize that’s not the case” , Robbins said. “…We tried to create a place where people will want to come here and where they will feel comfortable when they are here.”
Touchless technologies and an advanced climate control system are two ways the pandemic has influenced the design.
Focus on aesthetics
Designed by Cooper Carry, the project was first announced in 2016 as “Midtown Heights”.
It was originally billed as a two-phase project, but Robbins said all aspects of development were merged so they would open around the same time. General contractor Brasfield & Gorrie began construction in November 2019.
The office tower and apartment building named Mira in Midtown Union opened in late July. The Kimpton Shane Hotel will open on September 21.
In 2019, the Fulton County Development Authority approved tax abatements worth an estimated $57.6 million for development, which MetLife officials said would amount to $1.1 billion. The original proposal included a second office building instead of a residential building. A final build price has not been released, but a recent press release said it was completed under budget.
Two murals by Atlanta-based artist Joe Dreher decorate the exterior of the sleek towers, making the entire mixed-use neighborhood hard to miss.
Rob Bratton, vice president of development for building developer Streetlights Residential, said the Arts District had a big influence on the look of his building.
“The team came up with the idea of paying homage to the arts district right next door,” he said. “The exterior of the building is a white grid that is meant to represent a sheet of music, and the golden balconies are the musical notes that are on this page.”
fill the space
Invesco announced in mid-2019 that it would occupy about half of the 612,000 square feet of office space, while creating 500 jobs in the process.
The Atlanta-based investment giant, currently based in a tower on Peachtree Street, will start moving employees next year. Robbins said they are currently receiving interest from several financial institutions, law firms and other professional services companies. in the remaining offices.
The 230-room hotel has two dining concepts that will open with the hotel, and the other buildings have unlet space for half a dozen other restaurants.
“It helps (restaurants) survive with this density,” Robbins said.
Alan Rae, general manager of the Kimpton Shane, said the hotel will employ around 150 people. He expects a four star rating once the hotel is inspected. Room rates should start at $200 per night.
A few dozen Atlantans already live on Mira’s property. The 355-unit tower is only about 9% rented, but Mira community manager Matthew Rost said it’s rare for new apartment buildings to open all units at once. Midtown is one of the most popular areas for apartments, and he hopes the building’s occupancy will match the surrounding area within 15 months.
Apartments range from 496-square-foot studios to 1,743-square-foot units with three bedrooms. Starting rents range from nearly $2,000 to $6,600.
The 9th floor is the lowest residential level, so Rost said all residents will have a high-rise experience.
“Some people say, ‘Oh, I don’t want to be weak,'” said Rost, who lives in Mira. “But it’s crazy how when you’re on the 15th floor… you have an amazing view.”
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