Multi-Use Atlantic Station Promises A Richer Atlanta Experience

Atlanta, a classic convention city with a myriad of new visitor attractions, wants to be more — a full-featured, multidimensional destination where attendees will want to wander day and night soaking up the real Atlanta. Think chic and trendy, like Manhattan's SoHo.

That's the idea of Atlantic Station, a multibillion-dollar mix-used project on the 140-acre site of a former steel mill in the city's Midtown area. Already under way and set for a grand opening in October, Atlantic Station will combine three new hotels, 12 million square feet of retail and office, 5,000 mid- to upscale residences, a slew of entertainment and dining options, and 11 acres of parkland over its 10-year build-out.

"This is the live, work and play concept that is just what Atlanta needs," said Amy Johnson, president of PRA Destination Management Atlanta. "We're already known for our neighborhoods, shopping and dining, but when you bring it all together in a walking area, it's something unique for us."

Developers hope Atlantic Station transcends its master plan, to showcase an urban Atlanta complete with a full-featured sense of locale.

"We've been inspired by some of the most-successful urban communities on the planet," said Brian Leary, vice president of design and development for Atlantic Station LLC. He cited Boston's Newbury Street area, Reston Town Center in Northern Virginia, and upscale Washington, D.C., neighborhoods as having similar walking, living, shopping, entertainment and dining qualities.

Atlantic Station's first hotel, called Twelve, opens later this year.

The project is the largest of many efforts nationwide to make urban cores more vibrant and lived-in. It has a head start on a similar effort in Las Vegas, called Project CityCenter, set to break ground next year. It also will include an array of hotels, dining, entertainment and residences.