WRS, the South Carolina developer behind the revamp of Underground Atlanta, has released new renderings of the four-block redevelopment, including the area known as Kenny’s Alley – or Block 3 as its now known – at the southwest corner of Central and Alabama.
Featuring more than 150,000 square feet of retail, office and communal areas, construction on Block 3 began in January is expected to be complete in 12 to 14 months, according to a media release from WRS. Design and architectural improvements have started and include:
- The removal of the former Underground Atlanta food court along Central Avenue. This will open up the alley level to the street as shown in the above rendering.
- WRS is opening up the “Exchange” building to Upper Alabama to provide more of an open-air connected corridor between Kenny’s Alley and Upper Alabama.
- Replacement of all retail windows with modern/industrial office storefronts that will be customized based on tenant size.
- Repair of the circa 1882 Block Candy Co. building at 86 Pryor, and replacement of its 1980’s storm windows with historically-accurate and energy efficient ones.
- Removal of 1980’s “mall” touches like escalators and miscellaneous metal screening.
- Repair and repaint all façades, with addition(s) of street art and murals throughout.
- Reworking interior access so that it functions more like an office / workshop space rather than a circuitous mall.
“Underground Atlanta is the historic location of the city’s founding. At S9 Architecture, we are excited to be a part of its transformation into a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood in the increasingly dynamic downtown area. Our design emphasizes the intangible yet important qualities of how people perceive and use space, and we hope this holistic approach will make the new Underground Atlanta project a memorable experience for residents and visitors alike,” shared John Clifford, co-founding partner of S9 Architecture.
“It is important for us to modernize this footprint while restoring and keeping as much of the charm as we can of this iconic area,” explained Scott Smith, CEO of WRS, Inc. “We are investing a great deal in the structural safety of Block 3 while upgrading systems including all new mechanical, electrical and plumbing systems. We are working to bring everything to current code including new windows, lighting and new water quality measures for future tenants and patrons.”
Block 3 is also the permanent home of The Masquerade nightclub and concert venue as well as co-working space Post-Office.