Prior to the 2008 Great Recession, an irregularly shaped 16.3-acre site located within the Buckhead residential district of Atlanta, Georgia, zoned and entitled 3,883 condominiums to be constructed in nine individual towers. This initial blueprint treated an urban site as a single block - illustrating uses which had become infeasible in the marketplace and a composition that restricted flexibility and responsiveness to the larger urban framework. Post-recession, HGOR was retained by AMLI Residential to review the existing plans and make recommendations. The analysis showed that the economic values of the land associated with the existing plan had fallen by as much as eighty percent. HGOR then put forth a postulate for a revised plan that celebrates urban form - recovering lost value by creating a strong sense of place. Marie Sims Park was completed in 2015.
Based on the new value proposition, HGOR developed alternative site studies which sought to create efficient, walkable urban blocks with required open space aggregated into a collective common. These plans provided a more comprehensive understanding of maximum and minimum potential utilization by entitlement. Subsequently, detailed massing and density studies were prepared. Each block was planned relative to distributing density to form a strong spatial relationship and maximize views, all while maintaining programmatic densities. The new blueprint enlists the extension of existing streets to provide clear, walkable connections to the nearby MARTA Transit Station.
The allocation of the greenspace also focused on a central lower portion of the property, enabling the open space to potentially provide dual purpose for centralized stormwater management. HGOR provided support information illustrating that savings from utilizing the park for stormwater, as opposed to a traditional underground vault system, would virtually cover the cost of constructing the park and provide enhanced water quality through the utilization of aquatics and bio-retention.
The direction was accepted and HGOR led all entitlement efforts.
As seen in LASN magazine, March 2020.