From Milk to Mixed-Use: Atlanta Dairies project set to begin
By Collin Kelley
Following the success of its Krog Street Market project in Inman Park, Paces Properties is turning its attention to another property – the old Atlanta Dairies site on Memorial Drive in Reynoldstown. INtown photographer Isadora Pennington got an exclusive look inside the property for this feature, so be sure to check out the slideshow below.
Atlantans of a certain age will remember the familiar red and white cartons of milk that came from the dairy cooperative, which opened in 1945. Atlanta Dairies was eventually bought out by Parmalat, which continued to use the 10-acre site until it closed in 2004.
The 2008 tornado that swept across Downtown caused significant damage to buildings on the property, but the Art Deco curvature of the main building remains intact and will become the focal point of the project, which will simply be called Atlanta Dairies. Other buildings, including the old retail strip that contained Chop Restaurant and a small grocery store will be demolished.
While Krog Street Market has a food focus, Atlanta Dairies will be a mixed-use project with an entertainment focus, including an outdoor space at the heart of the project called “The Yard” for concerts and other events.
An indoor music venue, bowling alley, small retailers, a bar and a 24-hour diner would be part of the mix, too, with office space and 300 apartments.
“We wanted to do something besides the food vibe,” Paces Properties principal David Cochran said. “We came up with the music and entertainment concept because there wasn’t anything like it in the area.”
Paces principal George Banks said there was enough competition in the city for how people spend their money, so making Atlanta Dairies a “unique, memorable destination” was foremost in his mind. “We want to create a project that keeps people coming back.”
Paces principal Merritt Lancaster said the property was one of the last on Memorial Drive that still had its original industrial character. “The Dairies is surrounded by these powerful single-family neighborhoods like Reynoldstown, Grant Park, Cabbagetown and East Atlanta, so the site is ripe with opportunity.”
It was those neighbors that came out earlier this year and convinced the Atlanta City Council to lift a six-month construction moratorium along Memorial Drive so the Atlanta Dairies project could get under way this fall.
“One of the biggest lessons we learned with Krog Street Market was making sure we were embracing immediate neighborhood,” Lancaster said. “We went to Reynoldstown with our plans long before we went to the city to get ideas from the neighborhood. We want to be good neighbors.”
Cochran said January 2017 is the goal for “everyone to open their doors” at Atlanta Dairies.