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NYC Architect Imagines an Open Atlanta Colony

NYC Architect Imagines an Open Atlanta Colony

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At the corner of 14th and Peachtree Streets in Midtown, the reimagined Colony Square is hitting new milestones. North American Properties (NAP) began vertical construction on two of the most anticipated components of the redevelopment: the Main & Main food hall, operated by award-winning Oz Rey, and first-to-market luxury dine-in movie theater IPIC. Starting this week, several restaurants, a wall mural by an all-female artist team and an urban park will make their debut.
“We are no longer in the business of building buildings; instead, we are focused on the space between the buildings – the street-level environments that naturally foster human connection and community,” said Mark Toro, managing partner of NAP. “The reimagined Colony Square is reemerging as Midtown’s center of gravity, providing our neighbors with a highly engaging and artful gathering place where people will collide and spark new connections daily.”
New experiences coming to Colony Square include:
• The Grove, a 10,000-square-foot urban park along the 14th Street corridor, will officially open to the public on Friday, May 3. The Grove will feature 40-foot trees, Spanish steps, tables and chairs, plus, it will serve as the gateway to Main & Main, IPIC and The Plaza. The Grove has an open container policy and will be activated with artful encounters and community events throughout the year, such as Groovin’ in The Grove, a new live music series taking place every Friday this summer.
• Hometown favorite Chick-fil-A will return to The Square on Thursday, May 2, debuting in its new location above The Grove.
• Starbucks will open its new location in the lobby of Building 100 in May.
• Building 400’s lobby will officially reopen to the public on Friday, May 3.
• C-Cycle, a secured bike house exclusively available to Colony Square office tenants, will also reopen in May.
• Establishment reopens this month. The restaurant’s expanded patio and new outdoor bar overlooking The Grove, “Tight Squeeze at Establishment,” will open this summer.
• Construction will begin soon on Sukoshi, a fast-casual sushi concept by Steve Palmer. The restaurant is expected to open later this year.
“We are excited to spend time in Midtown’s newest gathering place,” said Ginny Kennedy, Director of Urban Design at Midtown Alliance. “Not only will The Grove bring people together, it will help deliver on Midtown’s strategy to attract more investment to the district. Midtown Alliance remains focused on ensuring that vibrant public spaces are within an easy walk for everyone. Active public spaces on private property and permanently preserved public parks are not just amenities – they are integral for the exceptional quality of life people expect in Midtown.”
In addition to the upcoming openings, NAP today announced the selection of an all-female team of Atlanta artists to paint a 2,915-square-foot mural on the north wall of 5Church facing Peachtree Street. The mural, called Moon Goddess, is a tribute to Aurora, Roman Goddess of the Dawn. Aurora embodies the power to bridge two worlds: one of darkness and one of light. She also represents the time between waking and dreaming, when our imaginations are most open and alive. The artists will be on-site painting live for the community Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. beginning May 3.
Artists for the project include Lauren Pallotta Stumberg, Molly Rose Freeman, Lela Brunet and Laura Vela (bios below). This collaboration will be the second for the team, following the creation of the 90’ x 90’ mural of Persephone at NAP’s recently opened mixed-use community Edge on the BeltLine.
NAP broke ground on the redevelopment of the iconic mixed-use project in Oct. 2017. NAP has since demolished more than 200,000 square feet of the former site, including the old Houlihan’s Building and former mall. To date, NAP has recycled more than 6,000 tons of materials. The team also renovated the Building 100 lobby and reopened it to the public in Oct. 2018.
“North American Properties is the WeWork of real estate development. The NAP ExperienceMakers™ understand how to energize spaces through exceptional hospitality and community events that draw people from near and far,” said Maxwell Pau of Colony Square’s lead design firm Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners LLC.
“Our team was charged with transforming Colony Square’s inward-looking design into a highly animated, urban environment that will host these magnetic experiences and engage with Midtown’s streets. We accomplished this through a bold retail identity at the bases of Buildings 100 and 400, improved access to the development and new public realms that are ripe for community gathering. We are thrilled to see the design come to life,” he said. For more than five decades, the design firm’s work has focused on the revitalization of nationally celebrated buildings and sites, including Grand Central Terminal, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center and retail repositioning at World Trade Center.
NAP will celebrate Colony Square’s grand opening with the community in May 2020. Upon completion, the reimagined Colony Square will feature 912,000 square feet of Class A office space, 160,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space, 262 residences and a 466-room W Hotel.
Cushman & Wakefield handles office leasing for Colony Square. Lord Aeck Sargent is the architect of record, Beyer Blinder Belle is the lead design firm and Site Solutions is the landscape and hardscape architect. Hoar Construction is the general contractor. Kimley-Horn is the civil engineer.
To learn more about happenings at Colony Square, follow the Midtown destination on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. To stay up-to-date on construction progress and announcements, visit
About Colony Square
At the corner of Peachtree and 14th Streets, Colony Square is not only the heart of Midtown, it’s the heart of Atlanta – an original icon at the very center of the ever-rising capital of the modern South. Today, Colony Square is becoming an icon of another kind, bringing the Art of Modern Life to Midtown. Featuring 912,000 square feet of Class A office, 160,000 square feet of best-in-class retail, a 466-room hotel and 262 luxury residences, the reimagined Colony Square will be known as a foodie haven; shopping and entertainment destination; sophisticated business hub; and an amenity-rich, arts-infused place to gather with community and soak up Midtown’s vibe. Open, walkable and transit-friendly, the reimagined Colony Square, like all great city squares, will be seamlessly connected to the vibrant energy of the streets around it. To learn more about Colony Square, follow the Midtown destination on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram, and visit
About North American Properties
Founded in 1954, North American Properties is a privately held, multi-regional real estate operating and development company that has acquired, developed and managed more than $7 billion of mixed-use, retail, multifamily and office properties across the United States. Rooted in its purpose-driven approach to development, North American Properties is creating great places that connect people to each other; cities to their souls; partners to opportunities; and individuals to experiences that move them. Headquartered in Cincinnati, with offices in Atlanta, Dallas and Fort Myers, Florida, the company has developed 22 million square feet of commercial space and 19,000 residential units in 15 states and 67 cities. In the past three years, North American Properties has launched 36 projects totaling $2.2 billion in total capitalization. In metro Atlanta, North American Properties led the turnaround of Atlantic Station and the ground up development of Avalon. Currently, the team’s $3.8 billion retail-driven mixed-use development pipeline includes: Colony Square in Midtown Atlanta, Revel in Gwinnett County, Georgia and Riverton in the New York metro area.
About Beyer Blinder Belle
Founded in 1968, Beyer Blinder Belle Architects & Planners is an award-winning architecture, planning, and interiors practice of 190 professionals in New York City, Washington, D.C., and Boston. The firm’s multi-faceted portfolio encompasses preservation, urban design, and new construction projects that span a wide spectrum of building typologies and sectors, including cultural, civic, educational, residential, and commercial.
For more than five decades, BBB’s work has focused on the revitalization of nationally-celebrated buildings and urban sites, including Grand Central Terminal, Ellis Island Museum of Immigration, Empire State Building, Rockefeller Center, Lincoln Center, the World Trade Center Retail Redevelopment, and The Battery, Atlanta.
BBB approaches all projects with a deep understanding of their character-defining features and contexts, and brings creativity, place-making, and authenticity to the design of buildings and dynamic public spaces that meet the needs of current and future generations.
About the Mural Artists
Molly Rose Freeman
Molly Rose Freeman is a multi-media artist best known for her large-scale murals and installations that feature organic patterns, gestural geometry, and vibrant colors. Her exploration of pattern as a universal and unifying visual language has led her to create site-responsive public works around the world. Her primary media are murals, installation, painting, drawing, and digital design for 3D fabrication. Since 2010, Freeman has been partnering with governments, organizations, and corporations to create what she calls “love songs to each place, grounded in the intimacy of specificity.” Her work with Atlanta-based public art project Living Walls was featured in the New York Times and Creative Loafing, and in 2015 she was named one of Atlanta’s “30 Under 30” by ArtsATL. One of her best known pieces is a 130-foot-long mural at the Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport titled “Salvation in the Land of Flowers and Honey,” which serves as a joyful respite for weary travelers. Her clients including Microsoft, NCR, World of Coke, W Hotels, Mailchimp, the Atlanta Hawks, and the City of Charleston. She was a resident with the Creatives Project from 2013-2015, and in 2016, she was awarded a Distinguished Fellow Grant for the Hambidge Center for Creative Arts and Sciences.
Laura Vela
Laura Vela is a Chicana multimedia and interdisciplinary artist in the Atlanta area. Vela recently graduated from Kennesaw State University with a BFA concentrating in Painting and Drawing and a minor in Gender and Women’s Studies. Her work explores identity, gender, race, and mental illness through oil paintings, watercolor and ink, photo, zine, and collage making. Vela is a Hambidge fellow and has shown work at Kibbee Gallery, Beep Beep Gallery, Emory University, Agnes Scott College, and The Low Museum among others.
Lela Brunet
Lela Brunet (b. 1985) is a visual artist living in Atlanta, Georgia. She received her BA in Art Education from Kennesaw State University in 2014. With her main subject being the female form, Lela explores the contrast created when the grace of the figure and the tension of energetic patterns and colors collide together. Lela’s work explores this visual battlefield of pattern, color, and form. She works in a variety of media including murals, painting, drawing, and design. She has exhibited her work and murals in multiple galleries and events throughout the United States and internationally. Her clients include Microsoft, MailChimp, NCR Corporation, Orpheus Brewing, Mellow Mushroom, Shops Around Lenox, Starbucks, and Soul Cycle. You can view her work on her website or on Instagram @lelabrunetart.
Lauren Pallotta Stumberg
Lauren Pallotta Stumberg (b.1981) is a local muralist, painter and arts advocate with a background in graphic design, education, non-profit management and international development. Her work honors the human experience through abstracted portraiture and symbolism. Her paintings are imbued with patterns that translate into the hieroglyphics of one’s journey; they are feminine, painterly and expressive of the energy that unites us. Since moving to Atlanta in 2012, Stumberg has used her creative offerings as a means to engage with community. She started Think Greatly as a platform to facilitate neighborhood projects as part of her social practice and to curate female-driven collaborations. Stumberg’s work has been awarded grants from Living Walls, Fulton County, the City of Atlanta, and Georgia Council for the Arts, and public commissions from Norcross, Peoplestown and Hapeville; her projects in the public realm can also be found in Cabbagetown, Decatur, Old Fourth Ward, Midtown and Southwest Atlanta. Stumberg is one of two local artists to receive a 2017 Emerging Artist Award from the City of Atlanta Office of Cultural Affairs. She is a Hambidge Fellow, and represented by dk Gallery in Marietta, which was recently voted Best Gallery of 2018 by Jezebel magazine.


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