The Midtown Development Review Committee met for the first time in 2023 on Jan. 10. On the agenda was the return of the 10th Street Ventures mixed-use proposal along West Peachtree at 19th streets that raised the hackles of local preservationists due to its proximity to a historic apartment building.
10th Street Ventures and Ryan Companies along with Blur Studios provided updated designs on their new mixed-use development, which are dramatically different than those submitted last fall.
The L-shaped building that would partially surround the historic Winnwood Apartments has been reduced from 20 to 17 floors and plans to incorporate the empty Mastermind office building have been withdrawn. The Mastermind building would be demolished in the new design plan.
Inside the new tower would be 139 residential units, 149 short-stay lease/hotel rooms, 6,600 square feet of co-working office space, and 5,400 square feet of commercial space including a storefront café and rooftop bar.
Fronting West Peachtree St. is the storefront café with outdoor dining area and residential lobby. Parking along with screened trash and loading services are each handled via 19th St. The parking podium is partially buried with 348 spaces extending up to level six.
The DRC appreciated the updated design including the new partially buried parking and increased buffer between the proposal and adjacent Winnwood Apartments.
The DRC provided other key comments including:
- For the parking podium confirm opaque screening to block car lights and shielded overhead lighting to avoid light spillage. Also, consider designing greater vertical element integration of the parking deck and tower.
- Reconfigure the West Peachtree St. interface to provide for a more open and inclusive entryway experience to the building. Related, study reducing the floor-to-floor levels of the parking deck with the goal of reducing the finished floor to the West Peachtree St. sidewalk grade.
- Include an interior secure bike room in place of compact sized parking spaces in the northeast corner of the parking deck. To assure accessibility provide ramping (or a runnel) from the West Peachtree sidewalk to the bike parking area.
- Provide for the minimum two (2)- 12’x 35’ sized loading spaces (and screened from 19th St.) to accommodate the proposed on-site uses and to meet code. Also, show the expected truck turning radius movements for these service vehicles on 19th St.
- Coordinate with adjacent Winnwood Apartments regarding construction intentions including tiebacks and overhead crane service.
Local preservationists had pushed back against he original design of the building, stating it encroached too closely on the 90-year-old Winnwood Apartments, which are going to be renovated into studios and micro apartments.
Atlanta Preservation Center Executive Director David Yoakley Mitchell said he was glad to see the revised plans.
“The revised plans of the building being proposed next to the Winnwood have improved,” he said. “Yet – there is still more to do and we look forward to attending the coming meetings about this. Historic Preservation is not the obstacle to growth, it is arguably the way to ensure a more thoughtful inclusion of sustainability. ”
“If we enact laws – ordinances/regulations/standards – and do not enforce them because of inconvenience, then we are in jeopardy of becoming a biased society, particularly in the context of the stewardship of cultural resources,” Mitchell continued. “The Winnwood Apartments are not singularly an example of good historic preservation, it is a metaphor of what we value from our past and how we choose to embrace our duty as stewards.”