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By WALTER WOODS / The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Published on: 05/25/05

Tower Place's developers plan to raise the tallest building in the metro area since 1992: a soaring, 47-story tower of office suites, sky-high condos and the first restaurant from Pano Karatassos since 2001.

The new high-rise is the latest and perhaps largest example of what's called "vertical mixed use," in this case a skyscraper that blends offices and homes. The big-city concept is taking hold here, and it's likely to reshape, and lift, the metro skyline.

Tower Place's proposed 47-story high-rise would include offices, hotel rooms and some of the highest addresses in the Southeast. There'd also be a restaurant.

The building also means different developers, in just the past three years, have invested roughly $500 million along the small Buckhead ridge where Piedmont and Peachtree roads meet.

That corner is Buckhead's high ground, said Tom Tindall, a longtime Buckhead office broker. "It's got cachet."

Tower Place's new skyscraper, dubbed 3344 Peachtree, will have some of the highest addresses in the South: 99 condos 660 feet above Peachtree Road, including a two-story glass penthouse suitable for lottery winners, Michael Vick or Elton John.

Under the homes — they'll cost between $550,000 and $4 million — developer Regent Partners plans 480,000 square feet of offices, while the "new flagship" Pano's, as Karatassos called it, will open at street level. Regent wants to break ground this fall and deliver the building by 2007.

"My commitment was to not under-develop the site," said David Allman, Regent's founder. "The site wasn't for just another office building ... the combination [of uses] allows you to do a dramatic sculpture in the sky."

Regent's tower is not a done deal. The developers are moving forward without signed office tenants, though they said they're confident they'll have inked leases by the ground-breaking this fall.

Still, Regent's project, with office workers, Buckhead residents and upscale diners, will validate high-rise mixed use, Allman said.

Traditional — call them "horizontal" — mixed-use developments like Atlantic Station have become as common as kudzu in metro Atlanta. But in a metro area where land has been affordable and available, mixing uses upward is relatively new.

The 1992 Four Seasons Hotel Atlanta, the posh Midtown sleep-over with hotel rooms, offices and homes, pioneered the concept here.

But in the past year, Novare Group and Wood Partners have mixed hotel rooms into their condo high-rises. Post Properties and a partner are topping offices with condos at Phipps Plaza.

And Daniel Corp.'s Midtown condo towers — backed by Magic Johnson — will have a Publix grocery store.

More such projects are popping up now because real estate at key metro corners is harder to come by than it was in 1992 and, what's more, the traffic is worse, said Mark Vitner, senior economist at Wachovia Corp.

"Atlanta has traditionally had no constraints, but now that traffic has become one, folks are thinking, 'We should blend retail or residential into our office project,' " Vitner said.

Regent's mixed-use project joins a bonanza of development at the nexus of Piedmont and Peachtree:

• Regent's Cobb County rival, Cousins Properties, last year announced a new 31-story headquarters, dubbed Terminus, just a few doors down.

• Last November, at that same corner, InterContinental Hotels Group opened a $115 million hotel.

• In February, Novare Group and Wood Partners broke ground on a 29-story condominium tower.

"That's a half a billion dollars in investment in 36 months in a two-block area" of Buckhead, said David Tennery, Regent's vice president. "That's a major investment for anywhere in the country."

And there's likely to be more. People at Cousins and Regent have speculated that larger, skyline developments may replace the retail stores and banks at that intersection today.

But building without tenants, as Regent is doing, is risky.

Many local office floors, in Buckhead and elsewhere, remain empty after the recent economic slowdown.

Hiring, and the office leasing that comes with it, also remains weak.

A building as big as 3344 Peachtree will intrude into the local office market and may shoo away rivals thinking of building more towers, Tindall said.

"Like in auto racing, half the time a bluff is the best thing you can do," Tindall said. "It can put someone out of the market."

National developers Trizec Properties and Equity Office Properties own nearby sites, and Crescent Resources, part of power company Duke Energy Corp., has said it may build a tower at Phipps Plaza.

But there probably are only enough tenants for one or two new buildings, and Cousins was first to the punch, Tindall said. "Regent Partners has the No. 1 position to be the No. 2 man out."

 

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That's beautiful, but still a bit dissapointing. It's not really my style. I guess I really miss the traditional looking buildings of the late 80s and early 90s.

Either way, it's still a good signature high-rise.
 

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Also, is this the same scraper that was supposed to replace Tower Place 400? Because people that supposedly saw the rendering for that said it had many setbacks. This doesn't really look like it has set backs, lol.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
I found this article from Regent Partners from June 3, 2004! It took Regent a year to get everything lined up, but they were pretty much on the mark with their prediction of how much office space they would be putting up. What does seem kind of worrysome is that they were looking for tenants a year ago, and they still don't have any nailed down almost a year later!

Atlanta Business Chronicle said:
June 3, 2004

Regent plans speculative Buckhead office building

Atlanta-based Regent Partners may go spec in Buckhead.

Citing an improving economy and job market, David Allman, president and founder of Regent Partners, said the developer may build a speculative office tower in Buckhead at a site fronting Peachtree Street between One Capital City Plaza and the American Intercontinental University on Tower Place Drive and Peachtree Road. Allman said the size of the building would be somewhere in the 500,000-square-foot range.

Speculative construction means a developer will construct a building without preleasing any space to companies.

This would be the first speculative office building in some time for the Atlanta office real estate market, which has been hammered by a lack of corporate office growth and declining rental rates. The trend has been instead to build office buildings with a significant office tenant already signed up, such as the future office tower in Midtown that will house Atlanta law firm King & Spalding.

"We think the timing's good for building," Allman said. "We think that the market will be strong in Buckhead in '07, and we will consider doing a spec building accordingly. I think there's some pent up demand for quality space in Buckhead."

Allman said there is no deal imminent, and Regent is talking to possible tenants to occupy space. Allman said he has not received financing for the office tower as of yet.

Regent's last development was Tower Place 200 in 1998, a 259,000-square-foot office tower on Peachtree Road in Buckhead.
 

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Justadude said:
Is it me or does the tower give the impression that it's tilting to the left? That's a little disconcerting...
You're right. It does.

I myself was hope for something right-leaning. :)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Justadude said:
Is it me or does the tower give the impression that it's tilting to the left? That's a little disconcerting...
You'e right! About half way up the rendering, the taller sub-structure of the building appears to bulge out on its right side and then curve to the left. At the same height, the left side of taller sub-structure also looks like it's starting to curve to the left side.

Here's the original artist's rendering. I just draw a few horizontal and vertical lines. You can really see that the rendering has some strange curves to it. I guess that's normal for renderings, and it may be something that was done on purpose to make the rendering stand out. I just hope that if the building get's off the ground the lines get a little straighter! :)

 

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I guess, I'm just a traditionalist. Thank God no one has proposed anything so gaudy for New Orleans. I doubt any developer would be dumb enough to attempt to put it in New Orleans, anyway. It's very Buckhead, though. I do have an appreciation for Buckhead...as long as it is in Atlanta. It is a great place to visit and look at the post modern architecture. It's just not what I call beautiful or attractive, at all.
 

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Sean in New Orleans said:
Thank God no one has proposed anything so gaudy for New Orleans. I doubt any developer would be dumb enough to attempt to put it in New Orleans, anyway.
Are you being serious? I love New Orleans, but it has the ugliest collection of skyscrapers in the country.
 

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dirtybird said:
Are you being serious? I love New Orleans, but it has the ugliest collection of skyscrapers in the country.
I'm born and raised here and it likely takes a local to understand that only concrete, granite, marble, and definitely, spireless skyscrapers compliment a city that has 75% of it's homes built before 1900. You just have to spend some time here to understand our architecture. And that goes with our skyline, as well. I have no problem with the post modern era, as long as it stays clear of my city. New Orleans thrives on staying the same or slowly progressing...fads are exempt from here architecturally, and personally.....kinda like New York on a much smaller scale. New York has spires, but, it also has character. I like character, personally. Don't get me wrong...I love other styles. And I appreciate them. I'm in Atlanta several times a year, spending lots of my New Orleans money. But, Atlanta lost out when Sherman burned it down during the Civil War, IMO. It hasn't been the same since....
 

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^ I would agree with you, I love this tower but it would have no place in downtown. Whereas Atlanta lacks the architectual tradition NO has - in particular since it's in an edge city, Buckhead.

I am leaving for New Orleans within the hour for vacation :)
 

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Sean in New Orleans said:
And that goes with our skyline, as well. I have no problem with the post modern era, as long as it stays clear of my city.
Read my post carefully. That's what I'm talking about...Skyscrapers (not buildings 10 floors or lower-or whatever the definition is) in New Orleans are ugly (Plaza Tower, World Trade Center, etc). I'm not talking about the older buidlings on Canal Street and the Garden Disctrict which has beautiful architecture. I'm not dissing New Orleans architecture, I'm dissing the tall "modern" buildings. This thread is about the new tallest building in Buckhead, not old homes in Atlanta vs New Orleans (which New Orleans wins by the way).
 

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Sean in New Orleans said:
I'm born and raised here and it likely takes a local to understand that only concrete, granite, marble, and definitely, spireless skyscrapers compliment a city that has 75% of it's homes built before 1900. You just have to spend some time here to understand our architecture. And that goes with our skyline, as well. I have no problem with the post modern era, as long as it stays clear of my city. New Orleans thrives on staying the same or slowly progressing...fads are exempt from here architecturally, and personally.....kinda like New York on a much smaller scale. New York has spires, but, it also has character. I like character, personally. Don't get me wrong...I love other styles. And I appreciate them. I'm in Atlanta several times a year, spending lots of my New Orleans money. But, Atlanta lost out when Sherman burned it down during the Civil War, IMO. It hasn't been the same since....
So only bland unattractive buildings compliment beautiful old homes? Interesting theory.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Including my posts, we got as far as 10 posts before this thread took a major turn off-topic. If you want to talk about New Orleans or anything not related to this thread why don't you just start your own? Is it too much to ask that replies be related to the topic of the thread starting post?

Last time I checked, starting a thread on a different topic was free.
 

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i like it but at the same time i don;t like it.........reminds me a bit of boa seattle

whats the height on this baby
 
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