Mar. 16--Atlanta developer John Wieland has purchased one of the most sought-after sites on Peachtree Street with plans to build an "architecturally significant" complex of condominiums with street-level retail space and a 15,000-square-foot art gallery.
The property, now occupied by office buildings, is across the street from the Woodruff Arts Center in Midtown. Although the price Wieland paid for the property was not disclosed, a prepared statement from the arts center said it exceeded the minimum offer specified by the center's real estate task force.
Wieland, whose generosity to the High Museum of Art affixed his name to the museum's new pavilion, said he envisions a project that will complete the aesthetic lure of a neighborhood that includes the Lorenzo Piano-designed Symphony Hall and the stately history of Ansley Park.
"This is not a prelude to anything else," Wieland said, acknowledging that the Midtown development is unlike the traditional neighborhoods for which his company is known. "It's just a chance to do something exceptional."
Wieland plans a competition to select an architect for a building where units will range from 2,000 to 7,000 square feet, priced "in line with other luxury properties in Atlanta."
Shelton g. Stanfill, president and CEO of the Woodruff Arts Center, praised Wieland's commitment to continuing Midtown's push to create a pedestrian-friendly community in the arts center area.
"John Wieland's plans show his appreciation for the urban boulevard life of Peachtree Street and his determination to respect the Midtown Blueprint goal of protecting the future stability of the neighborhoods that surround the Woodruff," Stanfill said in the center's prepared statement.
The gallery to be included in the development will be programmed in consultation with the High Museum of Art, which has an option to buy the space for $1 at the end of 10 years.
Wieland was selected from among 12 qualified developers invited to bid on the property by the center's real estate task force, which was formed by the Woodruff's board of trustees.
The Wieland project will join a growing number of luxury condominium projects recently announced for intown Atlanta, but a veteran Midtown broker said it will have advantages no other project can rival.
Tim Holdroyd of City Realty Advisors called the site "one of the best sites in Atlanta for residential" development.
In addition to being across the street from the city's premier arts venue, "all the views of [Piedmont] Park are going to be over the Ansley tree canopy," Holdroyd said. "It's just going to be awesome."
The project will be more than another development for Wieland. He also plans to live there amid what he hopes will become a signature destination in Atlanta.
"In any city, there is one building that stands out among all the rest," Wieland said. "We want to be that building."