Atlanta Tech Village

Best Interiors / Tenant Project, ENR Southeast

Best in Atlanta Real Estate, Rehab/Renovation Winner, Atlanta Business Chronicle

Located in the heart of the Buckhead area, the existing six-story office building receives a full interior and exterior renovation transforming it into a high energy, collaborative space designed to attract the area’s finest and most talented creative start-up companies. Cumming highlights on his blog, after 15 months of nonstop construction, the building features: 103,000 square feet of renovated space, 10,000 square feet of event and meeting space, 50 co-working desks, 63 private offices, 44 multi-room suites, four kitchens, two nap rooms, two game rooms, one rooftop patio, an Octane coffee bar, 200+ companies, and 700+ people.

Project Challenges

Being at the corner of one of Buckhead’s busiest intersections, combined with the fact that Atlanta Tech Village remained occupied throughout construction and the first floor functioned as event space, created unlimited opportunities for risk. The safety plan was updated daily to accommodate the fluctuating and sometimes large number of people who would be near the construction area. With careful coordination of site logistics and proper planning, Choate finished the project with a stellar safety record. Choate and the subcontractors both had a recordable incident rate of 0.00. There were 0 lost time accidents.

Being located in the heart of Buckhead at the intersection of Lenox Road and Piedmont Road, ATV had an extremely tight site. Due to the high volume of vehicles and pedestrians, there was very little room for deliveries and almost no area to store any construction materials. A highly choreographed delivery schedule took into account traffic flow patterns and activities planned for the ATV “Villagers,” as the building was occupied during construction.

As construction continued, the site’s bustling location provided interesting challenges when it came to building the rooftop deck. Lenox Road is a state highway and could not be shut down at any time for material deliveries. Therefore, the team needed to solve the problem of how to get construction materials to the roof. “After reviewing the site logistics, the team came up with a plan to shut down Tower Place Drive to crane the steel onto the roof,” said Adam Duerr, Choate’s Project Manager. Being a high-trafficked area, Choate hired police officers and security to minimalize the impact the shutdown would have on the commuters. Choate received zero complaints for the duration of construction.

Communication was key; the Choate and Gensler team worked closely with Atlanta Tech Village community managers via social media to ensure they were not impeded by any construction activities. “ATV even started a hashtag, ‘#GoBoGo,’ to tag Choate’s Superintendent, Bo Webb, around the site,” said Duerr.  Many community members took personal pictures of the progress and shared them via personal blogs, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram posts to show their excitement about all the great things occurring at ATV.

“This is a significant milestone for the evolution of the Village and something to celebrate,” explains Atlanta Tech Village Founder David Cummings. “We set out on this journey in December 2013, working alongside our partners and contractors to transform a traditional office building into an inspiring and modern place to build technology businesses, and together we have done just that. Our success can be measured in the number of people who call themselves Villagers and I am proud of the team that worked all hands on deck since the beginning to make this dream a reality for us and all of the startups housed under our roof.”

The Atlanta Tech Village is truly a pioneer concept for the start-up community in Atlanta. The ATV team transformed what was once an outdated, nondescript office building into a thriving, trendsetting ecosystem of entrepreneurial activity, sending ripple effects through the corporate real estate community.  It uniquely challenges the notions of austere office buildings and “typical” office space.  As the Atlanta Business Chronicle noted, “The personality of the building has changed — transformed from a collection of tenants that only nodded acknowledgement during elevator rides, into a family of tenants who mingle around open kitchens, and free-lunch Fridays.”

It’s not every day a project comes along that truly challenges how we think about the “work” environment and the collaborative opportunity it could potentially provide.  Choate is proud to have played a small role in what could become a big change in how office environments are approached.  After all, as ATV founder David Cummings says, “It’s not about office space; it’s about culture and community.”