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Atlanta Developer Synonymous With Midtown Heads to Burgeoning West End

After Six Decades, Carter Moves to Emerging Part of City
August 7, 2018
Pictured: Carter Chairman Bob Peterson.

Carter, the Atlanta development firm whose late founder earned the unofficial title, "Mayor of Midtown," is relocating to the city's emerging West End neighborhood.

Packing up 60 years of history that forever altered Midtown's skyline, Carter this week will begin its move to The Met, an ambitious redevelopment project at 675 Metropolitan Parkway in what once was an industrial stronghold in Atlanta. It will leave its current home at 171 17th St. in the landmark Atlantic Station development.

From its new permanent base in West End, Carter expects to lead the revitalization of several neighborhoods south and west of downtown Atlanta, including one adjacent to the former Turner Field, which the Atlanta Braves called home for 19 years before moving to SunTrust Park in Cobb County for the 2017 season. The stadium has since been redesigned for college football and is now home to the Georgia State University Panthers.

All told, Carter has nearly $350 million in developments underway on Atlanta's southside. "Our impact in Summerhill and south Atlanta, on a relative basis, will be far greater than it has been in Midtown," Carter Chairman Bob Peterson told CoStar News.

Founded as Pope & Carter in 1958 by Ewell Pope and the late Frank Carter, Carter played a key role in several of Midtown Atlanta's signature developments including Campanile, built as the headquarters for BellSouth, now part of AT&T, and 1100 Peachtree. Carter was so engrained in the area that Frank Carter earned the nickname "The Mayor of Midtown."

While Carter’s focus now is development, it created one of Atlanta’s top brokerage and property management groups and expanded with offices across the Southeast. In 2011, Carter sold its brokerage and property management units to Cassidy Turley, then a St. Louis commercial real estate powerhouse that acquired similar companies across the country. Cassidy Turley now is part of Cushman & Wakefield, a top global commercial real estate services firm that went public last week.

On the development front, Carter expanded its reach to several states including Ohio, Oklahoma and Louisiana. Carter served as the master developer of The Banks, a landmark public-private partnership development situated on the Ohio River between Great American Ballpark, home of the Cincinnati Reds, and Paul Brown Stadium, where the Cincinnati Bengals play their home football games. Carter also has major developments in Columbus, Ohio, Tampa, Florida, San Antonio, Texas and Lafayette, Louisiana.

Most recently, Carter served as development manager of two office towers and more than 800,000 square feet of retail at Midtown's Atlantic Station mixed-use project that effectively stretched Midtown across the Downtown Connector. In 2015, Carter and real estate investment firm Pacific Coast Capital Partners (PCCP) acquired the former Bank of America operations center at 715 Peachtree and redeveloped it as a 318,000-square-foot office building whose tenants now include Honeywell International and Spaces, the co-working concept for Regus.

Carter's largest current projects south and west of downtown Atlanta include the redevelopment of the former Turner Field, now known as Georgia State Stadium. In a partnership with Oakwood Development and real estate investment firm Healey Weatherholtz Properties (COHW), Carter is developing a mixed-use project on 35 acres around the stadium in Summerhill that will include 292 multifamily units, 55,000 square feet of retail, student housing and build-to-suit office space.

At The Met, a century-old former cotton warehouse built by Coca-Cola co-founder Asa Candler in Atlanta's West End, Carter is redeveloping the seven-building complex as a mixed-use project that will include creative office space. Carter initially will develop 100,000 square feet of creative and flex space at The Met, and then will add another 100,000 square feet over the next several years.

With The Met, Carter will be transforming a historic property with deep Atlanta ties. Candler built the cotton warehouse project in 1914 as World War I began in Europe so struggling U.S. cotton farmers could store their surplus until the cotton markets rebounded. Known for co-founding Coca-Cola, Candler developed what was then Atlanta's tallest tower, the 17-story Candler Building at 127 Peachtree St., in 1906. He served as Atlanta mayor from 1916-1919.

Southeastern Industries Inc. later acquired Candler's warehouse complex and landed a number of large companies as tenants including General Electric, Genuine Parts, Buick Motors, Firestone Tires, Goodrich and The Atlanta Journal, according to a history of the project on The Met's website.

The warehouse district eventually would empty as economic downturns and a movement of industrial uses away from city centers took their toll.

As Carter transitions its headquarters to The Met, it also will occupy a temporary spot at Parkside Piedmont at 1440 Dutch Valley Place on the edge of Piedmont Park, the company said.

Tony Wilbert, Atlanta Market Reporter  CoStar Group   
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