SkyHouse Midtown, a 23-story high-rise mixed-use tower built on a former brownfield, was recently completed at 12th and West Peachtree Streets in Atlanta. The luxury development by Atlanta-based partners Novare Group and Batson-Cook Development Co. took top honors as the “Residential Deal of the Year” in the Atlanta Business Chronicle’s Best of Atlanta Real Estate Awards announced in February of 2013.
This article is the eighth in a series of EPA Region 4 Brownfields Success Stories, a series designed to share what our hosts of Brownfield 2013 have learned in their brownfields redevelopment efforts.
This $60 million, in-town project was conceived as an environmentally conscious, mixed-use development featuring 320 residential units and ground level retail. SkyHouse Midtown was designed to appeal to young, mobile, urban professionals drawn by the proximity to the arts, entertainment venues, restaurants and workplaces. Amenities include a rooftop lounge adjacent to the salt-water pool, clubroom with pool table and flat screen televisions, terrace with outdoor fireplaces and seating and rain gardens, a modern fitness area, 24-hour concierge and wi-fi throughout common areas, and lastly electric car charging stations.
The SkyHouse property is located in an area that was formerly occupied by light industry. The property once housed a number of small businesses which lead to soil contamination that impeded previous development attempts. Former uses included a machine shop and a pesticide packaging and distribution company. More specifically, impacts to soil on the property included volatile organic compounds, semi-volatile organic compounds, RCRA metals, and pesticides. Excavation, removal, and proper disposal of 525 tons of soil brought the property into compliance with Georgia EPD’s residential standards and cleared the way for development.
The development of SkyHouse created hundreds of opportunities for “greener living. Green amenities include appliances and fixtures chosen for energy and water efficiency, as well as an extensive on-site recycling program. The developments centrally location in a walkable neighborhood within reach of Piedmont Park. The developer’s goal for SkyHouse was to promote a car-free lifestyle, as evidenced its proximity to rapid transit and by the inclusion of a state of the art secure on-site bicycle storage facility.
In addition to the environmental benefit achieved through cleanup of soils which eliminated the direct exposure pathway, the potential for the further degradation of both storm water and ground water quality has been mitigated. The development of SkyHouse created approximately 100 jobs during construction and the development will support approximately 50 permanent jobs through its residential and retail operations.
Environmental benefit and job creation go hand in hand with the increased property tax revenues. Tax revenues are expected to increase by 900% during the first year of occupation, increasing annually thereafter as tax incentives offered by the City of Atlanta are sunset, and revenue generation and occupancy increase.
The developer’s green vision not only facilitated these high end amenities, but it has enabled an underutilized piece of land in the “Capital of the South” to realize its true potential as a specialized economic development engine which has helped breathe life into Atlanta’s midtown.
Artist’s rendering of the SkyHouse® Midtown Apartments