Midtown Block Trades Hands, Soon to House 321 Luxury Units

A 2.5-acre site, located at the very core of Midtown Atlanta at 131 Ponce de Leon Ave., recently changed hands for $6.5 million.

A 2.5-acre site, located at the very core of Midtown Atlanta at 131 Ponce de Leon Ave., recently changed hands for $6.5 million.

The property, consisting of nearly an entire city block, includes famed architect I. M. Pei’s first office building. Bound by Ponce De Leon Avenue, North Avenue, Piedmont Avenue and Juniper Street, the site includes the entire block except for St. Paul’s church, which was once home to the well-known Abbey restaurant.

The buyer—a joint venture between Sereo Group and Faison Enterprises Inc.—plans to develop a new mixed-use project consisting of 321 luxury apartments and 8,600 square feet of retail space. The site has already been zoned for a 1.4 million-square-foot mixed-use development, as previous owner Thirty Third Latitude Properties had a major project centered on sustainability in mind for the 2.5-acre property. The SPI-16 zoning allows versatile uses including office, retail, medical, hotel, multifamily, assisted living, or student housing.

Three existing buildings totaling in excess of 75,000 square feet have been included in the sale.

The sale has been brokered by Daniel Latshaw, partner with Bull Realty. “There was tremendous interest with 10 competing offers,” said Michael Bull, president of Bull Realty and host of the Commercial Real Estate Show. “The lenders, United Bank and Synovus Bank, were able to maximize their recovery by cooperating with the original developer to market the property. When you add the cost of demolition to the just-over-$59-per-square-foot land price, it’s a good sign for the commercial real estate recovery.”

According to an official statement, Latshaw is particularly excited about the new buyer’s plans to tie the old to the new. “The concept not only preserves the façade of the Pei building, but makes it a centerpiece of the design and celebrates Pei’s architecture and legacy”.

Image Courtesy of Wilbert News Strategies

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