Carter Readying Second Phase Of Mixed-Use Next To Former Braves Stadium
With five retailers already signed up, Atlanta-based Carter is planning to launch the second phase of the Summerhill mixed-use project by early next year.
Carter, leading a consortium of developers, is already underway with 37K SF of retail along Georgia Avenue next to the former Turner Field stadium. Slotted into those spaces are several boutique eateries, including Wood's Chapel BBQ — owned by the team behind General Muir, Halfway Crooks Brewing & Blending, Big Softie Ice Cream and Little Tart Bakeshop, Carter Director Jack Murphy said.
The developer also is preparing to start on another 53K SF of commercial space with Hodgepodge Coffee House lined up as an initial tenant, Murphy said. Above all the retail is loft office space, which has not been pre-leased, he said.
Carter is leading a development team on the project of Oakwood Development, Healy Weatherholtz and Georgia State University, which purchased the stadium and its surrounding 60-plus acres for its football program after the Atlanta Braves moved to Cobb County at SunTrust Park and The Battery mixed-use project last year.
The centerpiece of the Summerhill project is that redevelopment of Turner Field into a football stadium for Georgia State University, heralding a new era for the school. The university continues to break enrollment records at its Downtown Atlanta campus and five Georgia State Perimeter College satellites with the largest freshman class in its history this year. The Downtown campus alone will have more than 4,600 first-year students, a jump of 700 students from 2017, the university estimates.
Carter is tapping directly into that growth. As part of the project, Austin, Texas-based Aspen Heights Partners is underway with an off-campus student housing complex that will deliver by the fall of next year, Murphy said.
“The demand is there,” he said. "Georgia State has had its third straight year with the largest freshman class in the history of the school."
Summerhill is part of an overall Downtown Atlanta development resurgence that includes the rebirth of Underground Atlanta as well as the new Mercedes-Benz Stadium. Over the past year, more developers have been making bets on the submarket, especially German developer Newport US RE, which has gobbled up a host of mostly vacant buildings south of the Five Points MARTA station with plans to spend $200M to redevelop them.
The other major potential Downtown project is the long-neglected Gulch property next to Philips Arena. Los Angeles-based CIM Group secured the property this year and is seeking at least $900M in public financing for a $3.5B development that could see new office towers, apartments, retail and hotels along a grid of new streets. The Gulch site is widely viewed as the state's preferred location for Amazon, if it lands the HQ2 project.
At Summerhill, Carter also plans to go forward with an apartment complex next year. But plans for an additional 100K SF office building are in a holding pattern until Carter can land a significant tenant willing to take a chunk of it, Murphy said.
“We will likely need that to be pre-leased before we could start construction,” Murphy said.