What should go in the new Colony Square?

A new development team is plotting its moves to revolutionize Colony Square, a project that was pretty revolutionary when it was developed in the late 1960s and early 1970s.

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April 17, 2012 – Atlanta: Colony Square office buildings are shown on Peachtree Street in midtown Tuesday afternoon in Atlanta, Ga., April 17, 2012. Jason Getz jgetz@ajc.com

Colony Square was sort of like Atlanta’s mini-Rockefeller Center. It had a mix of uses, including two identical office towers, condos, a hotel and an enclosed shopping mall – all before “mixed-use” was cool.

Indeed, it was in the vanguard of development for the South that sprung up in a neighborhood that was once pretty rough, but decades later is one of the city’s hottest places to be.

North American Properties and Lionstone Investments’ bet is they can turn Colony Square into a moneymaker.

The editors and writers at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wondered: What should go there?

The new owners have given some hints for what they think will work. Blow the top off the shopping mall at the base of the towers. Bring in new retailers and restaurants. Make the place a “living room” for Midtown.

But they’ve also say they want to listen to the community’s vision. One tenant in the Colony Square said he thought the surrounding neighborhoods and office towers could support an Apple store.

That would definitely bring the desired foot traffic to the site.

So, Atlanta, what do you think should go there?

 

Reader Comments 0

8 comments
TylerMontague
TylerMontague

Literally blow the top off . . Look no further than the Power and Light district in Kansas City. A true outdoor living room with sofas under a giant ceiling, a stage for concerts and shows . . Surrounded by eclectic shops, cool clubs, and great dining spots . . It would become the center of mid town. . . And all of Atlanta.

intownwalker
intownwalker

People shop. Cars don't I encourage North American Properties to remove the valet parking on Peachtree, as well as the parking garage exit -- and use the space to build a regular sidewalk on Peachtree Street, as well as outdoor seating that's at the same level as the street. The below grade entrances to Chick-file-a and other restaurants create barriers to success.


A parking garage exit and valet parking do not merit a location with so much potential.


When Perkins & Will renovated the building at 1315 Peachtree Street a block north of Colony Square, it redesigned the entrance on Peachtree so that people who were walking didn't have to share space with people driving cars. This had a very positive impact, including attracting the Museum of Design Atlanta (MODA), a very popular museum. 


Eliminating the driveway at Colony Square that accommodates valet parking adjacent to Peachtree Street would make room for additional retail facing Peachtree. The lack of outward-facing retail is one reason people in Midtown don't walk that far north. The street-facing side of Colony Square needs retail that's more unique than Chick-fil-a, Starbucks and SunTrust bank.  


Apple would be a terrific addition to Midtown, but it would attract far more business if it faced the street rather than the interior.


The round hardscape that was installed a couple years ago creates opportunities for special activities. Currently, it's wasted space. Oversized checker boards and outdoor cafes are possibilities. Nothing attracts pedestrians more than the presence of other people. TAP has been a big success. No parking entrance in front -- and instead attractive outdoor seating and a lot of people enjoying the food and each other.

NickWolaver
NickWolaver

With that great sky-roof near the current Mo's location, that marble-floored area seems prime for a weekly or twice weekly guest/celebrity lecture series. Authors, musicians, filmmakers or other personalities seeking publicity have their publicists vying for the coveted guest speaker slots the community comes to rely on as "the thing" going on twice a week (Atlanta's answer to the New York Times lecture series in Manhattan). 

JohnMacIII
JohnMacIII

The atrium seems like a prime spot for an indoor skating rink. Or maybe an indoor amusement park, like the World of Sid and Marty Krofft.

JaysonSlaughter
JaysonSlaughter

I work downtown unless something is done about the parking/cost its an waste

intownwalker
intownwalker

@JaysonSlaughter Colony Square is close to both the Arts Center and Midtown MARTA stations. Requiring drivers to pay for parking is one of the best ways to encourage people to walk, ride bicycles or use transit to get to destinations.

Dumporangebuffoon
Dumporangebuffoon

Terribly mismanaged currently; prime retail space on corner of 15th vacant over ten years;  limited and over priced  parking 

Jlbreaux1970
Jlbreaux1970

Bring in retail people are familiar with.