The project’s development team gives Atlanta’s CRE community an update on the exciting mixed-use project.
For many of the Atlanta commercial real estate professionals who attended the sold out Construction Coffee Club breakfast at the Buckhead Club on Thursday, it was their first large in-person event since virtual Zoom meetings became the norm during the pandemic.
The event provided an opportunity for the Six West development team to update the CRE community on the $1.5-billion mixed-use development in College Park, which will offer a dynamic mix of offices, restaurants, shopping, entertainment venues, hotels and single-family and multifamily residential.
On a beautiful spring-like day coinciding with a sense of optimism that the country just might be turning the corner on the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s fitting that the mood was upbeat about the project.
“Things are moving fast. There are a lot of development sites that are already closed, so we need to get going,” said Jesse Frasier, Partner at BDR Partners, serving as project manager for Six West. “We’re starting construction in 2021.”
College Park held a ceremonial groundbreaking for the 320-acre project last October. Like many other real estate developments, Six West has experienced some delays due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impacts on the economy.
“The good news is that during this time we still had activity and we still had interest from developers,” said Ackerman & Co. Senior Vice President Steve Langford, the exclusive broker for the project.
Langford noted that construction will begin as early as this summer on several components of the multiphase project, including residential, office and hotel developments. He said he expects there to be announcements soon on development commitments for specific parcels.
About 87 acres has been spoken for, roughly 27% of the 320-acre site.
“Let me put that into perspective for you. The first phase of Avalon encompassed 80 acres. So right now with what we have under contract and are currently in discussions with, we’re pretty much at the size of phase 1 of the Avalon development,” said Langford, referring to the hugely successful mixed-use development in Alpharetta.
The Six West Difference
Six West is designed to be a 24/7 work-live-play destination. The development team discussed key features that will set Six West apart from existing and planned mixed-use projects in metro Atlanta.
“The Six West development has a lot of really nice infrastructure all around it,” said Artie Jones, Director of Economic Development for College Park.
Of course, its strategic location next to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport is a huge benefit. In addition to creating a built-in customer base for the project’s many attractions, developers also hope the airport will be a draw for national and international HQ operations.
Six West is also walkable from the College Park MARTA rail station and conveniently accessible via I-75, I-85 and I-285.
“The most important things about Six West are affordability, connectivity and accessibility,” said Steve Langford.
The construction of a pedestrian bridge connecting the Georgia International Convention Center and the Gateway Center Arena to Six West will boost accessibility. The pedestrian experience within the development will be enhanced by the walkable streetscape extending from downtown College Park’s street grid, and a pedestrian trail will circle the development.
Investors will be able to purchase and develop sites at a lower cost than in Midtown, Buckhead and many other prominent Atlanta districts.
“Relative to other major projects around the city, this project is hands down more affordable for a business to relocate to,” Langford said.
The project’s Incremental District near the entrance will feature smaller-scale developments designed to attract local businesses.
“This [College Park] is a big area where people were moved out of,” said Bill de St. Aubin, CEO of the Sizemore Group, referring to the residential properties vacated as part of the FAA’s noise abatement program beginning in the 1980s. The Incremental District provides an opportunity for local residents to participate in the project.
The Incremental District is designed to bring the ambiance of downtown College Park into Six West. The district’s walkable streets and alleys will be lined with restaurants, shops and offices. Strategies will be implemented to support local business owners and help them purchase parcels and implement their visions.
“How can local residents benefit? One of the ways they can benefit is by becoming small developers, by owning a piece of it,” said de St. Aubin, whose company created the Six West masterplan with community input. “This district is for small, local owners.”
About the Construction Coffee Club
The Construction Coffee Club, created by Chris Maier of Cooper & Company General Contractors, schedules breakfast meetings and other events for Atlanta’s construction and real estate community.