Atlanta Dairies Development – Phase I

Atlanta Dairies is a pedestrian focused mixed-use development whose first phase is the adaptive reuse of an abandoned industrial site located two blocks away from the Beltline Eastside Trail. The original, historic streamlined moderne brick warehouse building was restored, with additions to the back of the historic footprint, framing a large, terraced park-like plaza. The overall development creates a cultural and entertainment destination, including specialty retail, dining, and creative office space. This project borders 300 units of multifamily apartments within the larger Atlanta Dairies development, along with a music venue that is currently under construction.

Design Challenge

The existing site was a collection of dilapidated, abandoned buildings along Memorial Drive, an old industrial corridor, which is also undergoing rapid urban renewal. The overall site context had an intriguing industrial character, but the planning was chaotic and disconnected. There was beauty in the existing infrastructure of catwalks, silos, and the truck wash on the site, so we imbued them with new purpose. In the network of deserted catwalks that were once used in the milk pasteurization and packaging process, we envisioned a circulation spine that offered unique perspectives of new public spaces and active uses. In the skeletal truck wash, damaged in the 2008 tornado, we saw covered outdoor dining with a view of the newly transformed Memorial Drive. In the foundations of the old silos, we saw patios with people sunbathing and enjoying picnics – so we organized a terraced park around these spaces.

Physical Context

Dealing with an existing industrial site, there were several necessary revitalization efforts, including the environmental remediation throughout the site. Siting of new structures was also important relative to the adjacent highway I-20. A second phase of development was located as a buffer on the south end of the site, sheltering the new outdoor courtyard from noise and pollution from the highway. Restoration of the historic building facing Memorial drive reinforces the character and history of the street and contributes to the pedestrian experience connecting the Atlanta Beltline corridor one block away. The rugged existing site topography was also a challenge with over 20’-0” of grade change from one corner to another. Ensuring a comfortable and accessible site was important for this pedestrian focused development.