More than half a century ago, a young developer and visionary named Jim Cushman pushed a stake into the soil at the intersection of 14th and Peachtree Streets in Midtown Atlanta. “When Atlanta becomes a real city,” he announced, “it will happen here.”
Contractors would go on to forge at the site the Southeast’s very first mixed-use destination, and the biggest construction project in the history of Atlanta. The result was Colony Square, a self-contained “micropolis” hatched three decades ahead of its time.
Serving as a kind of garrison safeguarding guests from Midtown’s then-chancy byways, Colony Square offered a pair of office buildings united by an enclosed shopping mall, a hotel and a residential element. Over the decades, Midtown grew skyward, evolved a hip and happening vibe, and lured a resident cohort of urbane sophisticates. Colony Square became a relic of the Me Decade, as dusty as a box of cassette tapes in your grandpa’s attic.
Spotting a chance to create “Midtown’s Living and Dining Room,” North American Properties (NAP) acquired the property in 2015, and set about producing an open-air, service-focused social center to serve as the center of gravity the enclave sorely lacked.