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Newport RE Reveals Plans For 2 Apartment Towers In South Downtown

German developer Newport RE is launching a $300M project in South Downtown, including two apartment towers with 656 combined units on a two-block commercial district bisected by Broad Street, Bisnow has learned.

A rendering of Newport RE's Broad Street East apartment building in South Downtown.

Newport also plans to revitalize 37K SF of street-level retail along Broad Street, according to applications filed with the city of Atlanta last week. The blocks are bounded by Martin Luther King Jr. Drive and Mitchell, Peachtree and Forsyth streets, with the east tower reaching 21 stories with 306 units and the West tower rising 18 stories with 350 units, Newport executives told Bisnow.

“For this to be a neighborhood, there simply have to be more neighbors,” Newport Senior Vice President April Stammel said in a statement. “There’s a craving for city culture in Downtown Atlanta, for more walkability, entertainment and a desire to be part of something bigger. We feel a great responsibility and take very seriously the opportunity to develop the best and highest use for the neighborhood on every inch of the land we own.”

An existing parking deck at 76 Forsyth will be razed to make way for the new project, Newport Senior Vice President T.P. Bullock told Bisnow.

Newport plans to reserve 70 units at Broad Street West for renters making up to 80% of area median income, which is roughly $62K for a two-person household, according to Invest Atlanta.

Newport has tapped JLL to help secure construction financing, with plans to break ground on the project by the first quarter of 2023 and deliver in early to mid-2025.

"Interest rate environments are impacting everybody, but we feel very strongly about what we're doing in South Downtown," Bullock said. "Our approach on this from the beginning has been to activate the neighborhood, [to be] really focused on activating the streets versus keeping people in the building."

The Broad Street parcels are part of Newport’s larger revitalization of South Downtown that includes the redevelopment of the long-vacant C&S Banking building at 222 Mitchell St. into a modern, 250K SF office and retail project.

Newport's activity on Broad Street is just the latest in a flurry of development activity in an area of Atlanta that has long been overlooked by commercial real estate.

Rendering of the Broad Street West apartment tower, Newport RE's planned project in South Downtown.

CIM Group is spearheading the redevelopment of The Gulch, a sea of asphalt next to Mercedes-Benz Stadium, into a project called Centennial Yards.

Last week, CIM filed an application to begin the second residential phase of the project, which will include 234 residential units over retail and two levels of below-street parking.

Carter, which has been revitalizing the area next to the former Turner Field stadium in a project called Summerhill, also filed an application to begin the second phase of 513 Hank Aaron Drive, a six-story apartment building with ground-floor retail.

“The Mitchell Street corridor from where Newport is to where the Reverb [hotel] is going to be is the very first real place where people will be able to hang out before and after games,” said Brian McGowan, the president of Centennial Yards Co., the local firm backed by CIM spearheading the project. 

Downtown Atlanta has largely been left behind in the overall resurgence of the city of Atlanta this past decade. That spark began in Midtown and has led to a wave of redevelopment and adaptive reuse, reversing the trend of companies and residents moving to Metro Atlanta’s suburbs in the latter half of the 20th century. 

Newport, CIM and Carter's focus for the first wave of new projects in Downtown is on residential, in the hopes of it creating a 24-hour population that will drive business to the retail and other commercial developments, McGowan said.

“It's not rocket science. If you want to revitalize Downtown Atlanta you need to get people living in Downtown Atlanta,” he said. "That's what happened to Midtown."