A streetscape upgrade for Buckhead’s Salesforce Tower would add trees, benches and just maybe some decorative art on the bridge connecting it to the Lenox MARTA Station.
The concepts for the 950 East Paces Ferry Road office tower were presented at a Nov. 4 meeting of the Development Review Committee of Special Public Interest District 12, a zoning area.
The main goals are to improve the tower’s entrance at a pull-in driveway on East Paces Ferry and to add street trees on the Oak Valley Road side. Project architect Adam Toal of ASD SKY described timber benches and concrete and granite paving as among the proposed features.
The MARTA station footbridge connects with the tower at that driveway, hulking over it. Toal said one consideration for improving the bridge is painting it. He showed a conceptual illustration of an abstract, geometric mural painted on the bridge’s underside.
Greg Floyd, a MARTA project manager, attended the virtual meeting and said he would like to hear more about the proposal. He said that at the least, MARTA could consider cleaning the bridge. Toal said he had an initial conversation with another MARTA official about the artwork idea.
A concern from the DRC was the width of the sidewalks in the area. The 34-story tower was built in 1986, long before modern concepts of wide sidewalks. With the new street trees, the Oak Valley sidewalk would vary from 6 to 8 feet in width, Toal said. But the sidewalks around the driveway are much narrower — 4 to 5 feet.
DRC members urged Toal to consider widening the driveway’s sidewalk, particularly on the eastern end. Toal said the area is complicated by a slope and street lights, but that he would have an engineer consider it.
City officials in the meeting said that no variances are needed for the project. DRC members said they would support the project with or without variances, along with the recommendation for widening the sidewalk. DRC member Nancy Bliwise also chairs Neighborhood Planning Unit B, which she said had reviewed the proposal on Nov. 3 and supported it as well.
Formerly called the Atlanta Plaza, the tower was renamed for technology company Salesforce in 2018 as part of a major expansion of an existing office there. The tower was sold last year for $205 million from one investment partnership to another that goes by Oak Valley Owner LLC, according to Fulton County property records and the proposal’s filing with the city.