Atlanta doesn’t exactly have a reputation for sentimentality when it comes to its ancient landmarks.
Often for the worse, Atlanta tears down its antique buildings, rather than preserve or adapt them for the future like so many other big cities do. That’s led to a skyline without many classics.
But an interesting trend is developing in downtown, where a series of developers have adapted older skyscrapers into something new rather than start from scratch.
Just within the past few months, at least four ambitious projects have opened or been announced. And these follow projects of recent years such as The Glenn Hotel (formerly an office building) and the rehab of the former Winecoff Hotel into what is now The Ellis.
Will it be a trend that has legs? Certainly, the redevelopment of the former Sears warehouse/City Hall East into Ponce City Market has been a bonanza. Here’s a look at some of the new twists on some older buildings debuting or soon to debut in downtown.
The Candler Building
Last week, REM Associates and a development team including Development Services Group and interior design The Beck Group, announced their plans to convert the classic Atlanta skyscraper into a Curio hotel, a luxury brand under the Hilton flag.
The 265-guestroom hotel will feature oversized king, double queen and suite rooms. The chain said the main level of the hotel will feature the building’s Georgia-white marble grand staircase, original Tiffany windows, a restaurant and bar.
The Candler Building was developed in 1906 by Coca-Cola magnate Asa Candler and was Atlanta’s first steel skyscraper. It is slated to reopen in late 2017.
The Flatiron Building
In December, the owners of Atlanta’s oldest skyscraper reopened the Flatiron Building as FlatironCity, including a Microsoft Innovation Center that city leaders hope will boost Atlanta’s technology credentials and cultivate new startup companies. It will offer startups rentable office space by the desk, room or floor.
FlatironCity also will serve as the home to the new city-backed incubator for woman-owned companies – the Women’s Entrepreneurship Initiative. The incubator’s first round will include 15 women entrepreneurs.
Last year, developers reopened downtown’s 250 Piedmont building as an apartment tower known as The Office. The building had been a vacant and largely non-competitive office tower near the downtown Hilton hotel.
Now it’s a high end residential building with high ceilings, exposed mechanical systems stainless steel appliances.
In January, famed Atlanta developer and architect John C. Portman Jr. and partners opened 230 Peachtree, which involved converting 11 floors into a 206-room Hotel Indigo and a fine dining restaurant called JP Atlanta. The upper floors in the 27-story tower remain office space.
Portman designed and built the tower – the first in his landmark Peachtree Center development – in 1965.