Amazon announced Jan. 18 that Atlanta is one of the 20 finalists in the running to become home for its second headquarters expected to create 50,000 jobs and involve a $5 billion investment. It is unclear whether the “Atlanta” bid includes the High Street property in Dunwoody, whose owners submitted it to the state as part of Georgia’s overall submission.
The 42-acre High Street property is owned by Boston-based GID, which submitted a bid directly to state officials in October to be part of Georgia’s Amazon HQ2 package. The High Street site by itself is not big enough for Amazon’s entire project, but the concept was that it could be matched with other sites around metro Atlanta.
“My understanding is when ‘Atlanta’ is on the list, it’s referencing the state’s submitted package of several metro sites, such as [the downtown area called the] Gulch, Doraville, Fort McPherson,” Dunwoody Councilmember Terry Nall said.
But because GID submitted its bid package directly to the state, Dunwoody city officials say they do not know if High Street was included in the final submission package to Amazon.
“It’s still unclear if High Street was ever on that state list, as it did not meet the minimum acreage of the [request for proposals],” Nall said.
“Nobody knows but Amazon,” Dunwoody city spokesperson Bob Mullen said about High Street being included in the final metro Atlanta package. “We are thankful that Atlanta is still among the choices. There’s no indication of what specifically means for Dunwoody, but we will see what transpires over the next several months.”
Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms held a press conference Thursday morning to discuss Atlanta being selected as an Amazon HQ2 finalist. When asked if Bottoms would name the specific sites in the state package, city spokesperson Anne Torres said “no” via email but did not explain why in a follow up question.
Phase one of Amazon’s request for proposal called for enough room for buildings of more than 500,000 square feet by 2019 and up to 8 million square feet beyond 2027. Amazon said it expects to make a final decision this year.
The High Street property at Hammond Drive and Perimeter Parkway is on the Sandy Springs border, near Perimeter Mall and the Dunwoody MARTA Station. Access to mass transit was a key criteria in Amazon’s request for proposals.
The site currently includes several office towers, including the home of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, and a vacant area. GID has plans on the books for a massive mixed-use redevelopment whose status is unknown.
Available plans for just the first phase of the High Street site include one 30-story residential tower, a 12-story office building, two seven-story residential buildings, two eight-story residential buildings, a 12-story residential building and several three-story townhouses. All residential buildings would have ground-floor retail.
Total residential units in phase one would include 500 apartments at more than 552,000 square feet and 75 condominiums at more than 237,000 square feet. Retail space totals 130,000 square feet and office space totals 250,000 square feet.
The city of Brookhaven wanted to submit Northeast Plaza on Buford Highway to the state for consideration in its Amazon bid, but the owners of the shopping center declined to be part of the pitch.
The other finalist cities or metro areas are: Austin, Texas; Boston; Chicago; Columbus, Ohio; Dallas; Denver; Indianapolis; Los Angeles; Miami; Montgomery County in Maryland; Nashville, Tenn.; Newark, N.J.; New York City; northern Virginia; Philadelphia; Pittsburgh; Raleigh, N.C.; Toronto, Canada; and Washington, D.C.