Why do you want to build something there?
The Harp Transmission project responds to the site's urban transit-oriented location next to a busy thoroughfare and underutilized greenspace by creating an amenity for the surrounding neighborhoods and activating the Memorial Drive Greenway and Oakland Cemetery. Drawing on best practices from great urban spaces across the south and globe, we've designed a pedestrian-friendly building that invigorates and integrates with the park. For more information, please see the Context & Concept page.
There have been 5 different plans affecting the Harp Transmission site over the past 20 years, including the Memorial Drive - Martin Luther King, Jr. Drive Area Revitalization Study (2001), Atlanta Beltline Master Plan - Subarea 4 (2011), Imagine Memorial (2015), Comprehensive Development Plan (2016), and Memorial Drive Greenway Concept Plan (2017). Each of these plans recommend something different for the site, including cultural/interpretive center as part of an adjacent mixed-use development, activity center, low-density commercial, and beer garden/restaurant. For more information and links to these plans, please visit the Zoning & Planning page.
What is the property planned for?
What type of development is allowed under current zoning?
The Harp Transmission site is zoned SPI-22, Subarea 2. This zoning allows for the development of up to a 64-foot high commercial building, with required off-street parking spaces. Permissible uses include restaurant/bar, retail, banks, schools, museum/galleries, bowling alley, dry cleaners, barber/beauty shops, repair shops, theater, and drive-in/drive-through facilities, among others. For more information, please visit the Zoning & Planning page.
are you rezoning to build a taller building?
No, the Harp Transmission project as currently designed is 56 feet high (4 stories). Current zoning allows for the development of a building up to 64 feet high (5 stories). We plan on developing family-friendly restaurant and park-oriented retail on the ground floor, but we are rezoning from SPI-22, Subarea 2 to Subarea 1 to allow for office use on the upper floors in addition to the other uses listed above. For more information, please visit the Zoning & Planning page.
why do you want to build office there?
Development activity in SPI-22 has been dominated by multifamily and restaurants/retail over the past 2 decades. We plan on developing a compatible mix of restaurant/retail on the ground floor and office space on the upper floors. There is a lack of office space in the neighborhood for local residents to not only live and play, but also to work. Office space would also be a complimentary use to activate the Memorial Drive Greenway during the weekdays and would meet the statement of intent of SPI-22 to "create a diversified 24-hour urban environment."
why aren't you building any parking spaces?
The number one comment we received from community feedback was to not allow cars in the Memorial Drive Greenway in order to preserve the pedestrian experience. This was also a recommendation of the Memorial Drive Greenway Concept Plan. Importantly, the project is very accessible to alternative means of transportation, with walkable/bikeable distances from MARTA Bus: 60 feet, MARTA Transit: 900 feet, Atlanta Streetcar: 0.5 mile, and Atlanta Beltline: 0.8 mile.
The City of Atlanta purchased approximately 4.5 acres of property in the Memorial Drive Greenway from 2007-2008. No additional land has been purchased in the Greenway in nearly a decade. Additionally, there has been no investment in the park land other than demolishing the old buildings and installing boulders and shrubs in the underutilized vacant lots. The Harp Transmission project will leverage private capital to help catalyze the park's completion, enhance the existing greenspace, and provide for ongoing tax revenue to the City of Atlanta.
is the city buying park land for the memorial drive greenway?
what is the timing of this project?
If we are able to obtain all necessary zoning approvals this year, the project could break ground in 2018.