By: Cicely Anderson, Assistant Property Manager, Duke Realty
The Atlanta Stockyards and Upper Westside Tour delivered an impressive behind the scenes tour of one of the last historic buildings in the former Miller Union Stockyards. Between the 19th and 20th centuries, the Miller Union Stockyards was home for livestock trade and auctions. Though the location and some aspects of the architecture remains unchanged, the site’s new purpose is progressive with a modern 21st century appeal for work and entertainment.
The event kicked off in a large open room that was filled with natural light and furnished with various seating options that could accommodate large groups for a quick debriefing session and/or smaller group seating for one-on-one conversations.
Aaron Fender, Community Manager of the Atlanta Stockyards welcomed attendees and shared how the historic warehouse remains versatile for companies seeking flexibility with space and for those seeking an alternative to working from home with the amenities of being in a professional setting. Seeing it first-hand made it clear that the area, building, and interiors create a great place to work and host clients.
Chris Faussemagne, Co-Founder of Westbridge Realty Partners, was the host of the event, and his presentation covered several topics. He started by outlining the various reasons why the site was selected and shared his firm’s vision to repurpose the site. Their goal was to align it with the landowner’s vision of a densely populated space that would attract tenants relocating from Class A office spaces into open and large floor plate sites. He touched on some environmental challenges the team had to overcome during development due to the building’s age. In addition, he talked about the complexities of completing an infill development of the parking garage that included the demolition of one of the former buildings. His presentation was wrapped up by discussing the tenant-mix as he explained that tenants range from local businesses such as The Painted Duck to world-renowned tenants such as Red Bull.
Following Chris’ presentation, attendees toured portions of the building and the courtyard. Everyone had an opportunity to walk through a tenant build-out that effectively utilized the exposed bricks and ceilings with wall graffiti surrounding open and collaborative workspaces. The tour wrapped up in the courtyard with Chris pointing out old railroad tracks that were gathered from neighboring sites and repurposed with bricks more than 110 years old to accent the self-rusting steel flower boxes that added to the charm and character of the courtyard.
The event concluded with a presentation from Joe Knight, Co-Founder of Strategic City Partners and Consulting Partner with the Upper Westside CID (Community Improvement District) and Lauren Standish, Principle for HGOR. During Joe’s presentation, he explained the purpose and role of the Upper Westside CID and talked about how Westbridge Realty Partners and other stakeholders in the area work together to improve infrastructure, quality of life, public safety, and beautification in the area.
He also spoke about two main task the CID is working on for the area. The first focusing on balancing development with proper infrastructure so that traffic flow is improved, and secondly, the CID’s goal to add parks and greenspaces in and around the Upper Westside. This served as a perfect segue into Lauren Standish’s presentation that focused on the development of the Westside Park at Bellwood Quarry.
As Principle of HGOR, Lauren shared insight into the planning and design of the 280-acre Bellwood Quarry. She explained how her team drew from the areas culture and residents as well as various parks and greenspaces from around the world to help shape and develop a master plan for the park. It was explained that development will take roughly 20 years for the site to be completed, and the beginning phases have started. She shared photos and insight as to how the historic property looks today, and she presented photos of what the site will be transform into, which will make it Atlanta’s largest park and greenspace.
Following the great speakers and tour, the event concluded with delicious bites and drinks at The Painted Duck. By the end of the evening, it was clear why this was a sold-out event. The future is looking bright in and around the Atlanta Stockyards and Upper Westside areas as the trend of blending the old with the new is proving to be an effective development concept that honors Atlanta’s history, while pointed towards its future.
As a member of Duke Realty’s Asset Management and Property Management division in Atlanta, Georgia, Cicely’s core responsibilities include asset management, customer service, and operational functions for nearly 1 million square feet of industrial sites in the North Gwinnett market. Cicely’s ambition and acumen helped her succeed for more than nine years in residential property management, and with her desire to hone her craft in real estate, she obtained her Master of Science in Real Estate. With her passion and energy to succeed, Cicely is now applying her interpersonal, organizational, and analytical skills to the commercial real estate industry.
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