Atlanta's traffic ranks as the worst in the nation. Consequently, businesses in and around the city struggle to retain employees who face long, stressful daily commutes. In a effort to help tackle the traffic issue head-on, BellSouth Corp. created the Atlanta Metro Plan — a $750 million, 3.1 million-sq.-ft. development that will consolidate its 23 office locations into three sites located along the Metropolitan Atlanta Rapid Transit Authority (MARTA) rail line. By September 2003, more than 15,000 BellSouth employees, or approximately 80 percent of its Atlanta-based staff, will be able to access their workplace via mass transit.
The development is one of many transit-oriented projects taking place across the nation (see "Transit spurs development," page 26).
The BellSouth plan involves the construction of six office buildings and a parking garage to accompany existing buildings in three business parks: Lenox Park, Lindbergh Station Center and Midtown Center. The locations are within walking distance of MARTA stations.
Lenox Park is a 26-acre, mixed-use development in Atlanta's Buckhead area that currently includes four office buildings, a hotel, apartments and single-family homes. Its latest addition — and the first phase of BellSouth's plan — is the 360,000-sq.-ft. 2180 Lake Blvd. building, which was completed in February and houses 1,100 staff members. The fifth and final office building, 1025 Lenox Park Blvd., is near completion.
A 47-acre development centered on the Lindbergh MARTA station, Lindbergh Station Center calls for the construction of a twin-tower structure — the east tower will be finished by this August and the west wing will be completed August 2003. The concept for this project is to create a "live, work and play" community with 2.8 million square feet of office space, 1.6 million square feet of residential space, a 290,000-sq.-ft. hotel and 385,000 square feet of retail shops.
Midtown Center consists of two new buildings — 754 Peachtree St. and 725 W. Peachtree — that will join the existing 40-story BellSouth Center, along with a mix of office, retail, restaurants and residential developments in the rejuvenated Midtown area. The new buildings are scheduled to be completed next month and April 2003, respectively. A new parking deck will also be finished next month.
Carter & Associates is the developer representing BellSouth. Several design firms are collaborating on the project, including Hellmuth, Obata + Kassabaum; Thompson, Ventulett, Stainback & Associates; Duckett Vandevere, Hillsman & Associates Inc.; Stanley Love-Stanley PC; Jova/Daniels/Busby; and Hendrick and Associates.