Thursday, March 27, 2014

What Would You Like To See Open in Place of Underground?

With talk of Underground being redeveloped, what would you most like to see built in its place?

The City of Atlanta is in negotiations with CV Underground, the current lease holder of Underground Atlanta, to buy out the remainder of their current 88-year lease, making way for a potential redevelopment of the 12-acre site.  The purchase price would be a reported $8.8 million.

Having previously sold City Hall East, site of the former Sears retail store, warehouse and regional office, to Jamestown Properties for $27 million in 2011, can Mayor Reed also find a buyer for Underground?

Matt Bronfman of Jamestown spoke at the official closing of the City Hall East deal.  He stated that his company sought properties with "high barriers to entry." Since that time, 280 Elizabeth Street and Krog Street Market have both been announced, and until recently, both had publicly confirmed more tenants than Ponce City Market.

Underground would seem to offer developers a perfect location in which to create something new. The downtown market, which may not be seen by many as ideal for retail these days, would seem to offer tremendous barriers to entry and might therefore look attractive to prospective developers such as Jamestown. 

While the Atlanta Braves leaving the downtown area for Cobb county in 2017 is certainly not a plus for the area, there are signs of progress.


The National Center for Civil and Human Rights is scheduled to open in May 2014, The College Football Hall of Fame will open in late 2014, and the new Falcons Stadium will open in 2017.



I recently announced Walgreens  plans to open in the historic Olympia Building and Georgia State continues to expand its campus and renovate its existing properties.  


Goldberg's Group also plans to open an Atlanta Braves All Star Grill at 200 Peachtree, once home to Davison's / Macy's.

Please share your thoughts below.  

15 comments:

Anonymous said...

Who goes to the area of Underground? The answer is only a few tourists and conventioneers who think it’s something good, and nearby workers for an occasional lunch. The National Center for Civil and Human Rights, the College Football Hall of Fame, etc. are located far away and grouped together well enough to take up a whole day’s visit, leaving out Underground. And the streetcar is not going close enough, especially when people disembark at the station that will be designated for Underground and immediately encounter empty storefronts and a pawn shop. Retail and restaurants have already failed there. Grocery stores fail downtown (apartment rents are too high to attract the numbers that leaders talk about). If Georgia State wanted to expand, that would be great. If not, I suggest a casino. Casinos are destinations and attract nearby development. And how about opening a casino at the site of the soon-to-be old Braves stadium site? And how about one at the old GM plant site at 85 and 285? I don’t recall whether that is being developed into another Atlantic Station-type area, but a casino would fit right in even with a retail and living center. Casinos in a number of places would be quite a boon. I see one up GA 400 attracting north Georgians, one in Augusta, more than on in Savannah, one in Valdosta, one in Macon, and more than one near Brunswick.

AJ said...

It'll never happen, but a casino would bring in lots of people and lots of money!

There's gambling in AL, MS, LA, NC... Yes, most are on Indian Reservations but seriously, it's taking money out of Atlanta and giving it to those states...

dpb said...

Georgia State should take it over.

Anonymous said...

I like casinos. I have a lot of fun in casinos and think they're great adult fun. That said, I think a casino at the Underground site would be a horribly wasted opportunity. Underground sits at the nexus of Atlanta's current rail transit system. Atlanta citizens can get there very easily from almost anywhere. It's perfectly situated for a fine/performing arts center, boutique hotels and supporting restaurant & retail development. Also, should the MMPT materialize, Underground could be come a key support component for that new, bustling downtown neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

We need a downtown central market like Pike Place or South Street Seaport. Thousands of governments workers around Underground with no place to go. The food truck Wednesdays are already very popular when the food trucks actually come out. Open the food stalls and the people will come. Sweet Auburn is nice but a bit of a walk.

Floyd D. Barber said...

What should be in Underground Atlanta is just more of the same good stuff that's in the rest of the area. Hotels, condos, offices, stores, attractions. Mix it up. Trying to fill this enormous space with a single idea is a mistake.

Y'all be serious, now. There is no chance that we'll see legal casino gambling in Georgia in our lifetimes. That's a Quixotic effort. Move on.

And GSU passed on Underground Atlanta in 2012. They aren't expanding that aggressively, particularly with the new construction they've already started north of UA. Not going to happen.

Anonymous said...

It is a lost cause. Who wants to go under the street level to do anything? The immediate neighborhood is an eyesore. High rollers will not come to Atlanta to gamble. They go to Vegas or somewhere with gambling as a central focus. My hometown added gambling. There was a lot of positive press about what a boon it would be to the local economy. The people it draws are of lower income and mostly elderly. It's depressing to see them throw their money away. It's only a boon to McDonalds. A couple of restaurants opened on the level of Applebee's. Big deal. Downtown needs more class, not less.

Anonymous said...

With all due respect, every time I see an idiot saying we need a casino in this state I know that it is someone that knows nothing about the industry or the nasty issues that come with casinos.
We already have the poor spending large amounts on lottery tickets as well as taking trips to NC, TN and MS to blow their entitlement money, uh I mean paycheck.I also see so many of the middle class get in over their head with gambling. (Yes I am a gambler but a very conservative one) The workers don't make a lot and they give away food and drinks thus damaging the restaurant/bar industry in town.
It does increase crime from the street level crime to white collar theft to pay for addictions.
I could write another million words but I will just say two more things, open your eyes and use your economic mind if you have one.
If that doesn't work then look at the states that have gambling and look how the state governments are hurting for money still.

Anonymous said...

Fill it in with concrete.

Anonymous said...

Whatever goes there, they need to rid the area of crime and roving bands of obnoxious 12-30 year olds. Blaring country music from the public sound system has been rather successful in Atlantic Station. Folks who spend their money will never go so long as people are getting robbed and young folks are shooting each other.

Rival said...

What about a data center? I agree that retail and restaurants should be outside at street level. So use the underground space for something that doesn't need to be visual. Fill it with servers and other equipment.

Anonymous said...

"What Would You Like To See Open in Place of Underground?"

Pure and unadulterated capitalism. Nothing else will survive.

Anonymous said...

The best use of Under Ground Atlanta would be to make a humongous hip hop oasis that celebrates the dominate citizens of downtown ATL. Hopefully, this would entice the urban crowd to leave their Lenox Square and Buckhead hangouts. This might increase crime in the area which is what killed of the original Under Ground Atlanta. On the positive side it could help decrease crime on the northside.

Anonymous said...

A JAIL!

StoneMan said...

They should do what the city of Chicago did w/a building downtown in a bad area, turn it into an AC plant. Check out Strip the City: Chicago and see what they've done to create a building that keeps extremely cold water and sends it out to cool the city and control costs. There's no reason to try anything else there.