It’s the Midtown Patch Question and Picture and of the Day all rolled together as we take a look at development activity along Howell Mill Road on the westside of Atlanta.
The pictures consist of two projects currently under construction and a third that looks to break ground this year. Plus, a shot of an additional construction project coming to the area near Howell Mill and Huff Road.
First up is about a 3-acre property bounded by 9th Street, 8th Street, Brady Avenue and Howell Mill that is currently home to chef Ford Fry’s very popular The Optimist restaurant that opened last spring.
Perennial Properties, which would like to deliver the project by Fall of 2014, has proposed a mixed-use development with 230 apartments and 9,000 square feet of restaurant and retail space wrapped around a multilevel parking deck.
The re-development will add to the 12,000 square feet of existing restaurant and retail/loft office space at the property. Talk is that a new restaurant, possibly featuring Latin-inspired cuisine from Fry, would front Howell Mill at the 9th Street corner.
A few blocks north at the Howell Mill/14th Street intersection, construction crews began work in last Fall on the Elan Westside Apartments project. The apartment project is part of a larger development project known as ‘691 14th Street’ that will ultimately see a joint venture between Prudential Real Estate Investors and Greystar Real Estate Partners deliver a 7-story building with 197 apartments and 11,000 square feet of retail space in late Summer or Fall of 2013.
Also in the last few months about a block west, Walton Communities broke ground on a 4-story, 250-unit apartment project at the intersection of Huff Rd. and Foster Street across the street from the Goat Farm Arts Center and behind the Westside Provisions District.
And there will be further construction between those two developments in 2013 as Westside Provisions District will be expanding at the north end of the shopping and dining district near Huff and Howell Mill. That’s where the freestanding Osteria del Figo restaurant building that for many years served as a liquor package store, will be demolished.
The building removal will make way for expansion including approximately 14,000 square feet of additional retail space, mezzanine spaces and outdoor areas, 95 new parking spaces, a newly graded and paved parking lot, improved driveway aprons, and improved exterior lighting in the north end parking lot.
But can and will Howell Mill Rd. be able to handle all this development? In late November, a sinkhole on the bridge on Howell Mill near Huff caused on-again, off-again road and lane closures for about a week while crews did repairs.
This stretch of Howell Mill regularly is snarled with afternoon rush hour traffic, especially northbound from 10th Street to Collier Road. Spotty sidewalks and the lack of bike lanes also contribute to the traffic congestion on the westside.
Howell Mill traffic congestion isn’t good, but with the addition of these developments to the area, is it about to get a whole lot worse?
Do you make efforts to avoid the area during high volume traffic periods? What will it take for traffic to get better in the area? Share your thoughts and comments in the space below.