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EXCLUSIVE: Greenstone Starting Construction On Midtown Office Tower With Goldman Sachs' Backing

An Atlanta developer is officially going forward on a Midtown office project thanks to an investment from the private equity arm of Goldman Sachs.

Rendering for Greenstone Properties' 14th & Spring in Midtown

Greenstone Properties is breaking ground this fall on 14th & Spring, an 11-story, 285K SF office building with 10K SF of street-level retail that will sit atop a four-story, 900-space parking deck. It has partnered with Goldman Sachs' merchant banking division. Terms of the financing were not disclosed.

Crescent Communities will go vertical at the same time with its NOVEL Midtown, a 339-unit apartment tower that will sit atop the same parking deck next door to Greenstone's office project.

14th & Spring also will feature a rooftop terrace open to the workers inside, complete with a coffee bar and workspaces. The two-story lobby will feature a chef-driven restaurant. Architectural firm HKS is designing the office building while Niles Bolton Associates is designing NOVEL. 

“Topography-wise, it just worked really [well],” Greenstone partner Chris Scott said. "And it also helps us avoid that spiraling parking deck where you have to go up five, six, seven or eight levels."

One of the selling features for tenants to the property is its access to the Interstate 75/85 connector, Scott said. The 2.5-acre site is bounded by 14th, Spring and Williams streets and has multiple easy connections to the crucial Atlanta artery.

“What excited us all about the project is the kind of first-on, first-off access to the connector,” Scott said.

Greenstone Properties partner Chris Scott

The other big selling point: The project will be directly across the street from Whole Foods' new 70K SF flagship Midtown store.

“It's almost like an experience as much as anything else. It's just amazing to have that amenity across the street,” Scott said.

Greenstone, which has been working on plans for 14th & Spring since 2017, is entering a very crowded office development market, most of which is entirely focused on Midtown and the new burgeoning West Midtown markets.

Of the nearly 5M SF of office under construction in Atlanta so far this year, 1.85M SF is situated in Midtown, according to Newmark Knight Frank.

Major projects in Midtown include New City's 725 Ponce; Hines' Atlantic Yards and T3 West Midtown, both at Atlantic Station; and Loudermilk's 881 Peachtree. 

Despite the deluge of new space, much of the square footage is being pre-leased by tenants, including Norfolk Southern, which has tapped Cousins Properties to build a new headquarters facility in Midtown; Google; and law firm Smith, Gambrell & Russell LLP, which is anchoring Selig's project. WeWork, Starbucks and BlackRock have all reportedly been in talks to take space at 725 Ponce.

Midtown gained 176K SF of office occupancy during the first quarter of this year, 60% of all positive absorption in Metro Atlanta during that period, according to NKF.

Thus far, Greenstone has not secured any pre-leases or letters of intent from companies for the space, although Scott said the firm is fielding many inquiries from various coworking players in the market. But he said the firm is confident on going spec because 14th & Spring is half the size of some of its market competitors.

“If we land a 125K SF tenant, we're 50% leased,” Scott said. "We liked the size of the building."