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Youngwoo Plans To Turn Ellsworth Industrial Facility Into Mixed-Use Destination

A New York developer whose adaptive reuse office project recently drew Google as a tenant is trying to bring its reuse magic touch to Atlanta's Upper Westside.

An early concept rendering of what could become of 1611 Ellsworth Industrial, as recently presented to the Atlanta BeltLine Design Review Committee

Youngwoo & Associates is preparing to convert a mid-20th century warehouse at 1611 Ellsworth Industrial Blvd. into a 200K SF mixed-use facility that will include 90K SF of retail and restaurant space as well as 70K SF of loft office, Youngwoo development associate Josh Bissinger said.

Although Youngwoo has owned this facility for two decades, where it has been home to a variety of locally owned retailers, this will be the firm's first major adaptive reuse project in Atlanta. The facility is on 11 acres and is across from Topgolf and near The Ellsworth Office Lofts project.

While relatively unknown on the Atlanta development scene, Youngwoo is a successful developer in New York City, with a number of significant projects under its belt. It is co-developing a project called Pier 57, the redevelopment of a building that sits atop a pier on the Hudson River. Last year, Google — whose New York headquarters is a five-minute walk away in Chelsea — announced plans to lease a significant portion of the 250K SF project.

The firm also is developing a 22-story, multicolored office and hotel project in the Washington Heights neighborhood in Manhattan.

“We're really trying to do something very unique in Atlanta, and that's really our guiding goal for our project,” Bissinger said. “West Midtown is such a fun, vibrant, changing area. We've received a lot of unsolicited interest from a lot of cool groups. We're really hoping to cater to the demand there.”

Youngwoo didn't share any renderings on the proposed redo, nor offer a dollar amount the firm plans to spend, as it is still in the early stages. According to Fulton County property tax records, the building is valued at $4.65M.

Youngwoo officials presented their plans to the Atlanta BeltLine Design Review Committee earlier this month. The developer filed permits this month with the city of Atlanta to begin work on its project.

The 11-acre property itself is already transforming. Last month, Steady Hand Beer Co. opened a 14K SF brewery and taphouse next door to 1611 Ellsworth Industrial. Bissinger said the developer is aiming to tap into a similar momentum with its project in the area for the retail portions — especially with local and chef-driven restaurants.

A rendering of Youngwoo's 2420 Amsterdam Ave. in Washington Heights, a development which is in an opportunity zone.

Youngwoo certainly is not the only developer taking part in Atlanta's Westside development renaissance. Selig Enterprises is underway with The Works redevelopment project. New City — developers of 725 Ponce — is redeveloping 450K SF in former industrial buildings into a mixed-use campus in a joint venture with Sweetwater Holdings.

The largest Westside project is Urban Creek Partners' planned, 70-acre mixed-use development by the future Bellwood Quarry Park that is set to include 575K SF of new office, 75K SF of retail, 850 apartment units and a hotel. Urban Creek Partners has named former Atlanta Braves star Mark Teixeira as an equity partner in the project.

The Upper Westside neighborhood is roughly bounded by Northside Drive, Collier Road, Marietta Boulevard and West Marietta Street just west of Atlantic Station and Georgia Tech's campus, and is part of the larger Westside Atlanta community. 

Once a haven for boutique offices and retailers, the area has garnered interest from more mainstream office tenants in recent years, especially in their bid to recruit and retain millennial talent. 

“One or two generations ago, you'd be crazy to think that an institutional tenant would choose officing there,” New City President Jim Irwin previously told Bisnow.

Youngwoo has tapped Stream Realty to lease the project — the same firm that developed and leased up Ellsworth Office Lofts, where net rents are in the mid-$20 range. Stream sold the property in February of 2018 to Origin Investments for $22.9M.

UPDATE, APRIL 26, 9:45 A.M. ET: The story has been updated to reflect renderings provided by The Atlanta BeltLine.