Most groundbreakings for new buildings involve dignitaries who break the ground on the first day of construction with ceremonial shovels symbolically dedicating that particular plot of dirt for its new purpose. In anticipation of the groundbreaking for Star Metals, our exciting new live, work, learn, play mixed-use development in West Midtown, Atlanta, we thought that the ceremony should be as unorthodox as the project itself.
On Thursday, August 9, a lively crowd of stockbrokers, investors, Allen Morris Company employees, and friends, huddled under a large white tent and watched as a 75,000 lb. 350 Series Excavator lifted a 4,500 lbs. (2.25 tons) wrecking ball and tore into the second story brick wall of an old warehouse on Howell Mill Road, demolishing the windows and building frame in just a few strategically placed swings of cast steel. It was mesmerizing to watch! Click to view video of demolition.
Likewise, I believe West Midtown, a beautiful yet gritty and edgy historic suburb of Atlanta will be mesmerized by Star Metals, the area’s first A-Plus apartment/office/retail/restaurant complex creatively designed by acclaimed architect Chad Oppenheim to pay homage to the area’s industrial history. Visit Star Metals Website.
Atlanta often is compared to the ‘Phoenix rising from the ashes,’ a reference to how the city once reduced to near rubble during the Civil War has re-emerged as a world-class city of great importance. Similarly, Star Metals was once an industrial metal reclamation and rail yard filled with warehouses and metal heaps that served a purpose for Atlanta’s economy in the 1800’s. The area is currently undergoing a startling transformation that is attracting entrepreneurial businesses and millennial workers who crave authenticity over spit and polish. Examples of this kind of modern age gentrification are New York’s meat packing district, that is now home to the Whitney Museum of American art, high-end clothing designer shops and a stretch of the High Line, and Miami’s once plain and barren industrial district Wynwood remarkably transformed into a hot tourist destination covered in walls of photo-op ready graffiti art.
Our new residences, offices and retail stores and shops will look like they could be converted factories and warehouses from the 1800’s, yet are in fact new energy-efficient, high-technology marvels with outdoor collaboration spaces, green roofs, and lush landscaping in the middle of the city. They are not your grandfather’s office buildings or even your fathers, as one blogger responded upon seeing our posted renderings, “This is so cool! I can’t believe they’re going to let them build this in Atlanta.” And another quote, “This is not your grandfather’s office building. Hell, this is not even your uncle’s office building.” And let me add, this is not your mother’s or your aunt’s office building either. This is what we try to achieve when we say our mission statement is to Inspire, Impress and Improve the lives of everyone we touch. When we pleasantly surprise people with the wow factor in our renderings even before they see and experience the final development, that is when I know we are on the right track to accomplish our mission.
We find ourselves responding to an era of an anti-brand culture where people crave authenticity and shun the predictable boring chain store. In the same way, the successful brands like the successful new restaurants and destinations in West Midtown are all about originality, uniqueness, and historic authenticity. Star Metals will also create a community with less traffic, less carbon emissions, and less wasted time in commuting since people can live in Star Metal Residences, shop at Star Metals shops and restaurants, each with their authentic, unique identity, and work in the Star Metals office building. We will avoid building excess parking for all three components by creating shared smart parking garages for all components used at different peak hours of the day and night. This type of shared smart parking saves millions of dollars in wasted empty parking spaces and reduces a city’s carbon footprint and carbon emissions from cars.
Here is a one-minute video in honor of the Allen Morris Company’s 60th Anniversary that explains the thought process that goes into how and why we are building today’s successful live, work, play developments.