Overview and masterplan
Terminus
Connecting Atlanta's History with its People, Nature and Future Economic Prosperity
Completed in collaboration with Nicholas Arruda, Adam Tobin, Anthony Yu & Xiao Wu

"Nothing is more powerful than an idea whose time has come." - Victor Hugo

When the stake marking the “Terminus” was driven into the Georgian ground in 1836, it was not just marking where the Western and Atlantic railroad lines would end, it became the origin of an idea that by creating connections, a city can grow and prosper.  Terminus seeks to place the next stake into Midtown Atlanta and by creating our own connections, we have designed our project to harness the economic potential, which we see within the city.

Design & Development Plan
The opportunity to develop a major city centre is rare. Atlanta presents the chance to blend the city’s historic innovative character with its future aspirations.

Terminus fosters a vibrant mixed-use community geared towards inviting high-tech companies for economic growth and job-creation, and bringing together people from different neighborhoods, industries and social classes. Recognizing the presence of diverse residents, workers and visitors in the neighborhood, Terminus provides a public realm to service the unique needs which consists of the Varsity Market, green parks and retail. Although the buildings maximize available density and exterior public space, the design of the footprint at grade remains accessible and inviting to pedestrians.

Bolstering Spring Street’s prominence, Millennium draws in pedestrians with retail frontage at the ground level. Millennium is anchored by a supermarket denoting the start of Varsity Market. Throughout the market, wooden arches inject nature’s essence into daily shopping, work and educational pursuits for the multicultural population it services. Food retailers provide fresh and healthy food options to workers and residents alike. The market continues south culminating in an urban square/piazza anchored by the iconic Varsity restaurant, which is preserved to stay inside the market. The marketplace is complemented by restaurants, farmer’s markets and neighborhood retail located on other parcels. Together they offer a rich selection of lifestyle options that suits the spirit of a new, growing urban center.

A central park directly adjacent to Varsity Market is the centerpiece of the public realm. The open greenery, fountain, vending carts, scenic landscape and sculpture park provide an uplifting experience to both occupants of the new development and residents of the existing neighborhood. The park connects Varsity Market and offices to the North Avenue MARTA Station. The development becomes a node of multiple forms of transportation as designated bike lanes from the Midtown in the north and from the Beltline in the east converge in the park, where bike parking and public bike-share is provided.

Rising above the marketplace is a series of iconic mid-rise towers erected out of timber. The towers house a mixture of working spaces to catalyze Atlanta’s revitalization: soft-landing Class B office space for growing start-ups from tech square, live-work units, co-working space, premium office space and space leased to Georgia Tech to bring together academia and industry. The timber exterior is a reflection of the modern innovative Atlanta economy and signifies the city’s commitment to sustainability.

Furthering a social commitment, throughout development, a partnership with the Peachtree Shelter will provide low skill jobs, signifying a sustained commitment to the social well-being of the city. Additionally, a portion of the profits will be re-invested in the community in the form of donations to the Peachtree Shelter, subsidizing Christo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School’s relocation and assisting in converting one-way streets into two-way streets, increasing ease and efficiency of access to offices, retail and the market.
Terminus focuses on continuous interconnectivity between environmental, social and economic characteristics to further bolster PLAN 4040’s foundation goal: sustainability.
A new central corridor for Atlanta
The Marketplace
Terminus catalyzes a paradigm shift from doing the least harm to one in which we see our
role as protectors of the cities in which we live.

By achieving Living Building Certification, Terminus moves beyond the standards of LEED to imagine buildings which are regenerative and lays the foundation for a sustainable future within the fabric of Atlanta’s community.
Sample users and their typical daily interface with Terminus
Program distribution
Financing Plan
Our team will develop ‘Terminus’ in a joint venture partnership with the Midtown South Development Partnership (the “Partnership”) through the establishment of subsidiary corporations for each major component. Across a total area of 785,459 square feet, Terminus will create 2,221 residential units, 15,447 parking spaces and 6,105,294 square feet of office and retail space. Fourteen percent of the residential units, thirty-seven percent of the office space and eighteen percent of the retail space will be affordable. With the total development cost of $2,160,908,856 spread across 4 phases, the site asset value will increase from $395,592,901 to $2,517,108,582. Development costs include land acquisition and predevelopment, hard and soft construction costs, infrastructure costs and donations injected into the community. The hard construction costs are lowered by an estimated 10% through the use of timber.

The phasing strategy allows for immediate response to the office and student housing needs in Atlanta. Notably, Phase 1 (Flip) encompasses the purchase of Blocks D, E, F and the Bank of America tower. The Bank of America’s vacant office space will be leased, increasing the building’s valuation as well as the land valuation in its vicinity. The Bank of America building will then be sold in year two, providing a substantial injection of capital into the Joint Venture, allowing the project to self-finance itself. All land values are carried at actual market value rather than the city appraised values.

Loans, subsidies and equity will finance the costs. Construction loans are rolled over to permanent loans after each phase. The increasing interest rates for construction loans are estimated at 200 basis points over prime (5.5%), while permanent loans can be obtained at 200 basis points over 10 year treasury bonds (4.24%). These loans are secured with subsidies and equity. Available density is maximized on every parcel by providing mixed use and affordable units. Over the eleven-year phasing period, government subsidies for tax credits amount to $20,950,000.

Equity will be accumulated in the Joint Venture. The Partnership will contribute $115,438,825 in land equity while Development Team 161208 will contribute $22,146,855 in capital; this equates to an 84% and 16% share in the Joint Venture, respectively. The developer’s expertise and track record will facilitate access to financing, while the Partnership can assure subsidies and community support. After disposition in year 2027, the shareholders will realize an unleveraged Internal Rate of Return (“IRR”) of 12.11% and a leveraged IRR of 40.85%. Assuming a ten percent discount rate, the levered project value creation will amount to $391,860,356. A share of the profits will be re-invested in the community to the Peachtree Homeless Shelter, to relocate Christo Rey Atlanta Jesuit High School and to convert the streets to become more pedestrian friendly.

Additionally, Terminus’ location enables corporate tenants to capitalize on both the city’s job tax credit and quality job tax credit. In sum, the project’s proposed financial structure benefits both private interests and the general public in a manner that is sensitive to the current city’s needs.
Final presentation board

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