Midtown Owner's Manual

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Midtown Owner’s Manual

Everyone owns Midtown’s future.

• For ease of reference

• To provide a visual guide

• To address developers’ frequently asked questions

This document, an “Owner’s Manual” is written for the development and design community. It is intended to highlight the essential zoning regulations, design principles, and best practices for new development and redevelopment projects in Midtown Atlanta.

The landscape of Midtown is changing rapidly. We have seen over 50 projects delivered over the last 10 years. During that time, we have seen project designs that work well, and some that don’t. We wanted to share this information in a format that is easy to understand and implement.

Beyond Zoning Requirements

A successful and well-designed project will go further than mere compliance with the zoning code. Midtown SPI zoning is a set of minimum standards. Each project is unique and zoning is not intended to address the essential design decisions that create a great project.

Our goal is to collaborate with you and your development teams early in your project’s concept development. It’s not about breaking the budget, but looking for straightforward actions that make a big impact.

The public realm and the private spaces adjacent to the public realm are critical. How will people experience, interact and connect in these shared spaces?

Looking Ahead

If the last 10 years is any guide, the next decade will be one of profound change. Your project will stand for the next century. Design so that future needs and customer demand can be anticipated and/or retrofitted easily.

It’s hard to know exactly what the future holds, but it is clear who holds the future. Together, we own the opportunity to shape Midtown - and our city - into an exceptional urban experience. Let’s make it happen.


What makes developing in Midtown different?

Great urban environments begin at the street level.

In Midtown, the relationship of the building to the street is a top priority. New development must engage the public realm to contribute to a positive pedestrian experience and to create a unique sense of place.

What are the important elements for new developments?


Composing your site to create a great urban environment.

Creating places where people want to linger.

2 4


Designing buildings that are good neighbors and embrace the street.

Crafting high-quality streets that elevate the Midtown experience.

1 3
Introduction ...................................................................... 01 Midtown’s Vision 01 About Midtown Alliance 02 The Review and Permitting Process ......................................................................06 The Development Checklist .................................................................................. 08 Site & Building Organization ............................................. 10 SB-1 Block & Building Bulk ........................14 Site and Building Envelope...........................................................................14 Bulk (Density)................................................................................................14 Incentive Bonuses ........................................................................................ 15 SB-2 Site Coverage, Edges & Setbacks.................................................................18 Continuous Street Wall.................................................................................18 Usable Open Space .....................................................................................18 Open Space Incentives ................................................................................18 Setbacks & Transitional Yards ..................................................19 SB-3 Entries & Access............................................................................................20 Pedestrian Entrances 20 Vehicular Entrances and Curb Cuts..............................................................20 Screening......................................................................................................21 SB-4 Heights..........................................................................................................22 Maximum Building Height ...........................................................................22 Minimum Facade Height..............................................................................22 Transitional Height Planes............................................................................22 Buildings 24 BD-1 Street Level ..................................................................................................28 Active Uses...................................................................................................28 Storefront Design .........................................................................................32 Signage 34 BD-2 Facades & Enclosure ....................................................................................35 Articulation 35 Facade Detailing and Materials....................................................................38 Contents ABOUT THIS DOCUMENT vi Historic Properties & Transfer of Development Rights ...................16 Midtown’s Context.................................................................................................04 Street Typologies..........................................................................................21
BD-3 Roofs ............................................................................................................40 Materials and Organization..........................................................................40 Screening... 40 BD-4 Parking .........................................................................................................42 Vehicular Parking..........................................................................................42 Bicycle Parking & Showering Facilites...........................................................46 Parking Structures ........................................................................................45 BD-5 Performance & Sustainability .......................................................................56 Transportation 56 Water 56 Energy 59 Waste 59 Open Spaces & Supplemental Zones................................. 60 OS-1 Open Spaces................................................................................................64 Active Uses...................................................................................................64 Types 69 OS-2 Supplemental Zones ....................................................................................70 Active Uses...................................................................................................70 Materials 73 Grading and Walls........................................................................................73 Streetscapes...................................................................... 74 ST-1 Sidewalk Zone ...............................................................................................78 Dimensions 79 Zones 78 Sidewalk Zone Width Transitions 79 Intersection Visibility Requirements .............................................................79 ST-2 Tree and Furniture Zone ................................................................................80 Dimensions...................................................................................................80 Uses..............................................................................................................80 Hardscape Materials.....................................................................................80 Trees.............................................................................................................81 Furniture and Streetlights.............................................................................82 vii Setbacks........ 70 Active Uses...................................................................................................40 Appendix:Construction Best Practices............................... 84



In the heart of it all

Imagine where people and businesses thrive— a community at the epicenter of life and commerce, urban and natural, technology and culture.

A 1.2 mile area in the heart of the City of Atlanta, Midtown is one of the region’s defining urban districts—a premier business location, a center of innovation and talent, and an exceptional urban experience. it is home to the city’s premier green space, historic neighborhoods, cultural destinations, arts venues and Southern landmarks.

It’s right here, in the heart of it all.

Our vision for Midtown is a liveable, walkable district in the heart of Atlanta—a place where people, business and culture converge to create a live-workplay community with a distinct personality and a premium quality of life.

What we do

Making your project as successful as possible while strengthening Midtown as a place.

Midtown Alliance is a non-profit organization of business and community leaders dedicated to building a vibrant urban experience in the heart of Atlanta. Our job is to help create the most exceptional urban district in the United States.

We are on the ground every day in Midtown. We work as partners, implementers, facilitators, advocates and an information resource. Whether making investments and securing grants for transportation and infrastructure projects in partnership with the City, or working closely

with the development and design community, we are about shared wins and continued value creation in Midtown in our shared City.

Midtown Alliance collaborates with the private sector to supply a wide range of resources and support to businesses, property owners, developers, leasing agents, and site selection agencies.

For online resources, go to: midtownatl.com/about/resourcecenter

Helping to create and maintain the most exceptional urban district in the country.

Urban Design

Advocating for high-quality development projects that are consistent with the local zoning code and in the spirit of Blueprint Midtown, our community-designed master plan.

Capital Improvements

Enhancing the public realm by investing in new sidewalks, street trees, pedestrian lighting, bike / mobility lanes, new and improved parks and plazas.

Public Safety

Providing a safe environment through our round-the-clock public safety operations with an extensive highdefinition video camera network and over 40 off-duty APD officers.

Clean & Green

Keeping Midtown clean and green with full-time landscaping and maintenance operations.


Increasing transportation accessibility with intersection and road improvements, district-wide signal management, and wayfinding signage.


Positioning the area as a market leader in sustainability and improving its competitive edge by establishing the South’s first urban Eco-district.


Catalyzing growth in high-tech and creative industries that attract investment and business growth through a districtwide plan.

02 An Owner’s Manual
NOW: Photo Fall of 2023
THEN: Midtown circa 1980s
Midtown’s Context 04
Midtown’s Sub-Areas 05

The Review and Permitting Process

Midtown Alliance works with developers and the DRC as part of a larger review and permitting process.

What is Midtown Alliance’s role?

As the liaison between the private sector and the public realm, Midtown Alliance assists the development community with the design of highquality projects consistent with the goals of the Blueprint Midtown master plan. We provide a wide array of development resources including economic data, maps, demographics, development trends, zoning consultation, design guidelines and other information to aid the private sector in the build-out of a livable, sustainable Midtown Atlanta.

What is the DRC’s role?

The Midtown Development Review Committee (DRC) is the City of Atlanta’s advisory committee providing formal recommendations to the Office of Zoning and Development on all Special Administrative Permit (SAP) applications in both of Midtown’s zoning districts. The Development Review Committee is composed of nine individuals, representing residents, property and business owners, neighborhood associations, and MARTA among other appointees of Midtown Alliance. The members of the DRC are listed on the Midtown Alliance website. The DRC reviews proposed projects at monthly meetings facilitated by the planning and urban design team at Midtown Alliance.

06 An Owner’s Manual

Follow these steps

for a successful permitting process.

Obtaining a Special Administrative Permit (SAP)

Midtown Alliance Pre-Application Technical Assistance Conference

Midtown Development Review Committee (DRC)

Meets the 2nd Tuesday of each month, pending holidays

Community Reviews (as needed)

Midtown Neighborhood Association

Ansley Park Neighborhood Association


DRC recommendations sent to the City of Atlanta, Office of Zoning and Development

Upon completion of community reviews

Special Administrative Permit Application

Receipt of Special Administrative Permit

Building Permit Application — Office of Buildings

Meet with Midtown Alliance staff for preliminary project review and guidance and with representatives from City of Atlanta, Office of Zoning and Development.

One week prior to DRC meeting, applicant must:

• Request placement on DRC agenda

• Provide written summary of proposed development/improvement, including detailed list of requested variations with code references (digital PDF format)

• Provide copies of site plan and elevation of development/improvement (digital PDF)

• Applicant should bring the following to DRC meeting:

• Written summary of proposed development/improvement, including detailed list of requested variations with code references (any size/ format for presentation and distribution)

• Copies of site plan and elevation of development/improvement (any size/format for presentation and distribution)


• Complete Special Administrative Permit (SAP) Application

• Include written summary of proposed development/improvement

• Provide drawings—4 sets of site and landscape plans, 2 sets of elevations— each signed and sealed by an architect/engineer registered in the State of Georgia

Upon SAP approval, scan and send a complete set of approved plans to Midtown Alliance.

Office of Buildings Plan Review


Receipt of Building Permit

Quality Control Meeting(s) with Midtown Alliance
The Review and Permitting Process 07
Obtaining a Building Permit Review Committee (as applicable) Land Disturbance Permit Building Permit

The Development Checklist

The checklist is a tool to measure the extent to which your project delivers inspired design elements.

The Midtown Development Checklist on the following page outlines the issues considered during the DRC review process. While not a formal part of the SAP application, the checklist measures the extent to which each project succeeds in creating an inspiring place; one that positively contributes to Midtown’s urban fabric while meeting the zoning requirements. The checklist allows the DRC to confirm a project meets the district's regulations and aspirations. High-ranking projects will be acknowledged publically on an annual basis.

This checklist begins with the minimum requirements outlined in SPI-16 and SPI-17, and then highlights the opportunities for inspired design above and beyond the zoning requirements.

08 An Owner’s Manual

Creating inspiring places, while meeting Midtown requirements.

The Midtown Development Checklist

Great urban environments begin at the street level. In Midtown, the relationship of the building to the street is a top priority. New development must engage the public realm to contribute to a positive pedestrian experience and to create a unique sense of place.

Buildings Open Spaces and Supplemental Zones Site and Building Organization SB ST BD OS ST-1 Sidewalk ZoneST-2 Tree and Furniture ZoneHardscape Materials REQ Trees REQ Furniture REQ Streetlights REQ BD-1 Ground LevelActive Uses REQ Storefront Design REQ Signage REQ BD-2 Facades and EnclosureArticulationFacade Detailing & Materials REQ BD-3 RoofsMaterials and OrganizationActive UsesBD-4 ParkingVehicular Parking REQ Bike Parking REQ Parking Structures REQ On-Street ParkingBD-5 Performance and SystemsTransportation, WaterEnergy, WasteSB-1 Mass and Block DimensionsBlock Configuration REQ Bulk (Density) REQ Incentive BonusesSB-2 Edges & SetbacksBuilding Edge REQ Usable Open Space REQ Open Space IncentivesSetbacks & Transitional Yards REQ SB-3 Entries and AccessPedestrian Entrances REQ Vehicular Entrances & Curb Cuts REQ Service REQ BD-4 HeightsBuilding Maximum Heights REQ Minimum Facade Heights REQ Transitional Height Plane (as applicable) REQ OS-1 Active UsesTypesPublic Park or Public ArtOS-2 Supplemental ZonesActive UsesMaterialsGrading & Walls REQ Project Location Developer Density Incentives Transit Station Area Bonus Retail Bonus Affordable Housing Bonus Connectivity Building Reuse Green Building Public Park Public Parking Buried Parking Reduced Parking


Composing your site to create a great urban environment.








scaled to the pedestrian experience

by location near MARTA or performance-based criteria (i.e. new parks)

continuous street wall from new to existing buildings

with surrounding development in residential areas

away from major streets, minimizing curb cuts and pedestrian conflicts

for all service and mechanical



See SB-1


See SB-1


See BD-4


See SB-3


See SB-2


See SB-2


See SB-3



See SB-4


See SB-2


See SB-3

What are the important organizational elements?


See SB-1


See SB-2


See SB-4


SB-1 Site and Building Envelope

The building envelope (including bulk) creates the dense, walkable fabric of Midtown. Each development should embrace this urban environment and add to its rich network.

At a Glance Block Configuration

If adding a new


Large blocks are inherently less walkable. Also they provide less points of vehicular and bike / mobility connections which leads to greater traffic congestion. Therefore, in is in the best interest for all new development to adhere to the ‘Conventional Streets & Pedestrian Ways’ map. This specifies how to divide the block and connect existing streets. The goal is to create a new publically accessible streets or walkways —further strengthening Midtown’s street network.

Bulk (Density)

For each project, bulk is measured by gross floor area ratios (FAR) and is set by maximums. FAR determined by the sub-area location of the parcel and the program as well as potential incentive bonuses. See Table 01 for maximum floor area ratios by sub-area.

Table 01: Maximum Floor Area Ratios By Sub-Area DEVELOPMENT SCENARIO SUB-AREA 1 SUB-AREA 2 SUB-AREA 3 Nonresidential FAR- By Right 5.0 * 2.0** Residential FAR- By Right 3.2 6.4 in the Juniper St. Transition Area 3.2 3.2 in the Non-Juniper St. Transition Area Location based FAR Transit Station Area 3.2 N/A N/A Incentive FARs bonuses Ground Floor Retail 2.0 N/A 2.0 Public Parking 2.0 N/A 2.0 Reduced Parking 0.8 N/A 0.8 “Green” Building 0.5 N/A 0.5 Street Connectivity 2.0 N/A N/A Building Re-use (2x) varies N/A varies Max FAR with incentive FAR bonuses 10.2 7.0 Additional FAR bonuses allowed Affordable Housing 3.0 N/A 3.0 Buried Parking on A & B streets 3.0 N/A 3.0 New Public Park (8x to max 2.0) max 2.0 N/A N/A Transfer of Development Rights varies varies varies
Sub-area 2: All non-residential uses shall be on street level and have street frontage. *In Sub-area 2 in the Non-Juniper St. Transition Area: All non-residential uses shall not exceed 2,500 SF and 5% of the residential floor area.
Sub-area 3: No incentives bonuses are allowed for non-residential uses.
street CONNECT TO EXISTING STREETS FAR measured from NET LOT AREA (PARCEL BOUNDARY) 14 An Owner’s Manual 6.4 in the Juniper St. Transition Area 3.2 in the Non-Juniper St. Transition Area

Incentive Bonuses

Midtown has a range of incentive bonuses that add potential FAR to a development site as summarized below.

Transit Station Bonus

Developments located within a transit station area are permitted a floor area bonus of 3.2 times gross lot area Refer to map on page 5 for location information.

Affordable Housing Bonus

An affordable housing bonus is available if either 10% of units are at 60% metro Atlanta area median Income (AMI or at least 15% of units are at 80% AMI. If so, residential uses are granted a bonus of 3.0 times gross lot area

Retail Bonus

A developments that provides street-fronting, sidewalk level retail or restaurant uses comprising a minimum of 50% of length of a street fronting sidewalk level façade are permitted a bonus of 2.0 times gross lot area.

Connectivity Bonus

A development that provides new infrastructure in accordance with the Conventional Streets and Pedestrian Ways map and the requirements of Sec. 16-18P.010(3.c) is entitled a bonus of 2.0 times gross lot area Following construction, a perpetual easement or dedication recorded in Fulton County Superior Court as referenced in the deed book is also required.

Public Park Bonus

A minimum 20,000 s.f. public park that is at least 1,000 feet from another park utilizing this bonus and that meets the design criteria of Sec. 16-18P.010(3.c) is permitted a bonus of eight (8) times the size of such park up to a maximum of 2.0 of gross lot area. Refer to the Map on Page 5 for location information.

Green Building Bonus

A development that provides professional documentation that all on-site buildings will achieve a level of LEED Gold or equivalent and will use non-potable water sources for all outdoor water use and can demonstrate a 10% reduction of energy use in comparison to City Energy Code requirements is offered a bonus of 0.5 times gross lot area.

Building Re-use Bonus

If any building eligible for either: a) City Landmark or Historic designation; or b) National Register of Historic Places designation - is to be reused a bonus of two (2) times the floor area is permitted Also, the saved building's floor area will no longer count toward overall floor area (FAR) allowed on the site.

Reduced Parking Bonus

If on-site parking is less than 50% of the max parking allowed for on-site uses a bonus of 0.8 times gross lot area is allowed; but this is not applicable for park-for-hire spaces.

Buried Parking Bonus

If all new on-site parking will be located below sidewalk-level grade along all Type A and Type B streets as defined in the Street Typology Map a bonus 3.0 times gross lot area is provided

Public Parking Bonus

The first site in one of four defined zones that includes a new parking structure with 400 plus spaces with standard signage and meets the active use requirements of Sec. 16-18P.014(4.b) and not used to satisfy parking requirements and at least 1,000 feet from another structure utilizing this bonus is granted a bonus 2.0 times gross lot area

SB-1 Site and Building Envelope 15

Historic Properties & Transfer of Development Rights

Transfer of Development Rights

Transfer of development rights is permissible provided both the donor and recipient parcels are located within SPI-16. Refer to the list of historic properties below for eligible sending parcels and Section 16-18P.007 for more info.

Historic Buildings in Midtown:

• Academy of Medicine, 875 West Peachtree St.

• Atlanta Women’s Club (Wimbish House), 1150 Peachtree St.

• Biltmore Hotel & Tower, 817 West Peachtree St.

• The Castle, 87 15th St.

• Commercial Row, 990 Peachtree St.

• Crescent Apartments (Margaret Mitchell House Museum), 979 Crescent Ave.

• Crum & Forster, 771 Spring St.

• Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St.

• Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree St.

• Palmer House, 952 Peachtree St.

• Peachtree Christian Church, 1580 Peachtree St.

• Phelan House Apartments, 81 & 93 Peachtree Place

• Piedmont Park Apartments, 266 11th St.

• Ponce de Leon Apartments (The Ponce Condominium), 75 Ponce de Leon Ave.

• Spring Hill Mortuary, 1020 Spring St.

• St. Mark United Methodist Church, 781 Peachtree St.

• Rhodes Memorial Hall, 1516 Peachtree St.

• The Temple, 1589 Peachtree St.


Crum & Forster

Location: 771 Spring Street

As part of the Coda redevelopment site the historic 1920's Crum & Forster building's front was maintained and rehabilitated for new uses. The hundred plus year old building creates a functional space and a visual counterweight of classical design and traditional materials along Spring Street

SB-1 Site and Building Envelope 16
Peachtree Christian Church, 1580 Peachtree St. The Ponce Condominium, 75 Ponce de Leon Ave.
SB-1 Site and Building Envelope 17
Windsor House Apartments (Margaret Mitchell House), 979 Crescent Ave. (Fabulous) Fox Theatre, 660 Peachtree St. Georgian Terrace Hotel, 659 Peachtree St. Academy of Medicine, 875 West Peachtree St. Biltmore Hotel & Tower, 817 West Peachtree St. The Temple, 1589 Peachtree St.

SB-2 Site Coverage, Edges & Setbacks

Site coverage, edges and setbacks are essential to further establish Midtown’s urban environment. Each development should respect Midtown’s continuous build-to-lines and should organize open spaces to be public and accessible.

At a Glance




Continuous Street Wall

Buildings must be designed to align with the parcel’s buildto-lines, especially at the street level. These continuous lines ensure that all building masses create consistent edges that frame and define the public spaces surrounding the parcel.

Usable Open Space

Open spaces should be organized to maximize their impact on the public realm of Midtown. Instead of creating a series of private open spaces, public spaces should be designed into the site and organized with the public in mind. As such, private balconies cannot count toward open space requirements.

Nonresidential Uses

In subarea 1 for retail and commercial uses a minimum of 15% of the gross lot area (GLA) must be public open space; any other uses must dedicate a minimum of 10% of the GLA toward open space. In subareas 2 & 3 for retail and commercial uses a minimum of 20% of GLA must be public open space; any other uses must dedicate a minimum of 15% of the GLA toward open space. Required yards may be counted towards these requirement.

Residential Uses

In subarea 1 residential uses required a minimum of 20% of the gross lot area (GLA) to be public open space. In subareas 2 & 3 for residential uses a minimum of 25% of the gross lot area (GLA) must be public open space. Balconies for residential units cannot be counted.


In the case of mixed-uses only the greatest size of square footage of open space is applicable. The lesser of any square footage allocations do not apply.

Open Space Incentives

New Streets Incentive

New public streets, or private streets which function as public streets, may be counted towards open space requirements. To be eligible for this incentive, the new street must meet Sec. 16-18P.010(3.c)

Parking Incentive

New on-street parking may be counted towards open space requirements. In order to qualify no on-street parking should be currently provided and the parking shall not be located in an existing street lane.

corridor, or ground floor residential use SUPPLEMENTAL ZONES
locations determine VARIABLE SIDE & REAR YARDS
frontage is on a major
18 An Owner’s Manual

Setbacks & Transitional Yards

Yards and setbacks within Midtown vary based on the specific subarea and what uses which are adjacent.

Supplemental Zones

Supplemental zones are setbacks that occur on Midtown corridors in order to extend the public realm. See Table 02 for minimum supplemental zone widths according to the street type, location and adjacent sidewalk level uses.

To count toward open space requirements:

•Adjacent residential ground floor uses must be accessible to the adjacent public sidewalk.

•The supplemental zone area shall not be more than 30” above sidewalk-level.

Transitional Yards

Sites adjacent to residentially zoned properties must provide a 20 foot wide landscaped buffer. If appropriate for the site, this buffer may accommodate a 10-12 foot shared access alley. Buffers must include permanent opaque walls at least 6 feet in height for screening.

Side and Rear Yard Setbacks

Side and rear yard setbacks in subarea 1 are only based upon the applicable City adopted International Building/ Fire Code except for residential uses with windows which require a minimum setback of 10 feet. Subarea 2 requires consistent 15’ setbacks in side and rear yard. Subarea 3 has 20’ setbacks for rear yard and side yards having residential uses with windows; otherwise only the adopted International Building/Fire Code applies. See Table 03.

Diagram 01: Supplemental Zone Location

Supplemental zones are setbacks that occur on certain corridors in order to extend the public realm.

Table 02: Minimum Supplemental Zone Widths

Table 03: Minimum Side and Rear Yard Setbacks


STREET CONDITION SUPPLEMENTAL ZONE WIDTH “A” Classified Streets 5 feet Street Fronting, sidewalk level residential uses 5 feet Peachtree Street north of 14th Street 30 feet Midtown Residential Sub-area 2 Streets 5 feet All Other Streets None EDGE CONDITION SUB-AREA 1 SUB-AREA 2 SUB-AREA 3 Side Yard Setback –Adjacent Nonresidential Uses None 15 feet* None Side Yard Setback –Adjacent Residential Uses with Windows 10 feet 15 feet* 20 feet Rear Yard Setback –Adjacent Nonresidential Uses None 15 feet* 20 feet Rear Yard Setback –Adjacent Residential Uses with Windows 10 feet 15 feet* 20 feet
feet of the 15 foot setback must be landscaped. SB-2 Site Coverage, Edges & Setbacks 19


Entries & Access

Entries and access should be welcoming and easily located. Each development should organize building entries to maximize clarity for the individual user and in accordance with the district’s street hierarchy.

At a Glance

Side edges should contain


Rear edges should contain VEHICULAR & SERVICE ACCESS

Front edges should have PRIMARY PEDESTRIAN ACCESS

Pedestrian Entrances



All uses must have entrances with street frontage and/or directly accessible from the adjacent sidewalk. Entrances include front façades, porches, steps and doors to all uses.

Nonresidential Building Entrances

Nonresidential building entrances must be at grade with the sidewalk and open during business hours.

Residential Building Entrances

Residential building entrances not adjacent to a public sidewalk must have a pedestrian walkway linking the entrances to the nearest public sidewalk. The pedestrian walkway link must be a minimum of four (4) feet wide.

Vehicular Entrances & Curb Cuts

Vehicular entrances and curb cuts should be located on the lesser classified street(s). All entrances and curb cuts should be shared and minimized in number where possible. Driveways and curb cuts are limited to one-way entrances a width of 12 feet or two-way entrances a width of 24 feet.


Driveways are only permitted between the sidewalk and a building for hotels. All other driveways must be perpendicular to their adjacent street.

No circular drives may be located between any building and any public street except for hotel entries.

Curb Cuts

Curb cuts shall be minimized and shared where possible. One curb cut is allowed per block face, not to exceed two total curb cuts and located on the lesser classified street(s).

20 An Owner’s Manual

Street Typologies

Street Prioritization

All streets are designated according to the Midtown Street Typology Map - Attachment C. The particular typology designation sets the standard for a variety of design criteria. This includes the location of curb cuts (See above in SB-3), active uses allowed (See BD-1), supplemental zone widths (see OS-2), and if overhead utilities should be buried.


Service Features

Dumpsters and loading areas as well as their access points must be screened not to be visible from any public plaza, ground level or sidewalk level outdoor dining area, public sidewalk or public right-of-way or otherwise be fully screened with opaque walls 6 feet in height.

Mechanical Equipment

Mechanical equipment must be located in the location of least visibility from the public right-of-way. Screening with plant or fence materials is required if the equipment is otherwise visible from the public right-of-way


NCR Headquarters

Location: 864 Spring Street

NCR’s corporate headquarters in Midtown uses scale, massing and transparency to create a recognizable focal point as seen from the interstate and an engaging pedestrian experience as seen from the street level on Spring Street. Landscape elements along the Spring Street frontage create a series of inviting plazas that can function as outdoor rooms.

Overhead Utility Line Burial

It is strongly encouraged to bury overhead utility lines wherever possible in Midtown. Knowing this is not possible everywhere, Midtown has prioritized certain corridors. This is intended to minimize local power outages, to help allow street trees to flourish, and to open up site lines from adjacent buildings.

Sound & Noise

Excess external sound and noise should be minimized to reduce impacts to neighboring sites. If a parking deck or restaurant exhaust is to be mechanically vented the exhaust should be designed to be directed away from adjacent residential uses. If is cannot be orientated elsewhere it shall be treated with additional sound mitigating measures including baffles.

SB-3 Entries & Access 21

SB-4 Heights

Heights within Midtown are set to encourage developments to respond to their context. Each development should balance the development needs with the development’s adjacencies.

At a Glance

Maximum Building Height

Building height maximum is determined by the sub-area location of the parcel. See Table 04 for maximum building height allowances.

Minimum Facade Height

Facade heights are the minimum building height at the street level and must meet minimum height of 24 feet. See Table 04 for minimum façade height allowances.

Transitional Height Planes

Where Midtown adjoins or is within 150 feet of a residential district (such as R, PD-H and SPI-17, Sub-area 4 a transitional height plane will limit new building height. If the residential district is immediately adjacent the plane begins 35 feet above the buildable area boundary nearest to the common residential district boundary and extends inward over this district at an angle of 45 degrees. If not immediately adjacent but within 150 feet the height plane begins 10 feet above the residential district boundary and extends inward over this district at an angle of 45 degrees.

HEIGHT CONDITION SUB-AREA 1 SUB-AREA 2 SUB-AREA 2 JUNIPER ST TRANSITION SUB-AREA 3 SUB-AREA 3 EAST OF PIEDMONT Minimum Facade Height 24 feet 24 feet 24 feet 24 feet 24 feet Maximum Building Height No maximum 250 feet 400 feet 100 feet 60 feet
Table 04: Height Allowances
Depending on location a FACADE HEIGHT IS REQUIRED AT 24 FEET BUILDING HEIGHTS ARE BASED ON SUB-AREA Adjacent residential zoning requires TRANSITIONAL HEIGHT PLANES 22 An Owner’s Manual

Mac's Beer and Wine

21 Peachtree Place

The building used for Mac's Beer and Wine is a good example of a small single use building still meeting the minimum facade height of 24 feet. This sets a comfortable and welcoming public street edge along both Peachtree Place and West Peachtree St.

J5 Midtown

775 Juniper Street

The J5 building shows the transitional height plane in practice. Notice how the building tapers (or steps down) at a 45 degree angle toward the adjacent house at the bottom left. This is required to maintain adequate light and air for the low-density housing neighborhoods found along Piedmont Avenue in Midtown and Peachtree Circle in Ansley Park.

SB-4 Heights 23




Designing buildings that are good neighbors and embrace the street.







along streets that animate the street level

with awnings, storefront windows, and other pedestrian-friendly perks

that are strategically hidden within a block or have a creative facade solution with active uses like retail at the street level

in terms of appearance, location and size

through organization, active uses and material changes



See BD-3


See BD-1


See BD-1


See BD-1



See BD-1


See BD-2


See BD-4


are the important building elements?


See BD-5


See BD-1


BD-1 Street Level

The street level is the most important interface between a building and the public realm. Each development should define and animate street level exploring active uses, transparency and engaging design.

Active Uses

Active uses should line each building face at the ground level to provide an animated building edge that enhances the pedestrian experience. Per the zoning requirements, a minimum depth of 20 feet of activated space as measured from the façade line for is required for residential uses while a depth of 40 feet is necessary for non-residential uses.

Traditional active uses include retail, restaurants, lobbies, Types of active uses are regulated by the street activation table and include retail, restaurants, lobbies, residential units and office space. There are many other alternative active uses including recreation centers, gathering/ community space, light projections, other art based installations, and indoor gardens, to name a few. Parking, fire command and transformer and similar elective rooms are discouraged and limited along street frontages.


Café Intermezzo

Location: 1065 Peachtree Street

Café Intermezzo combines distinct architectural elements such a Corinthian columns , decorative lighting and folding doors to differentiate the ground floor from the building above. These elements contribute to a unique setting for outdoor dining where patrons can soak up the energy from Peachtree Street.

Blank Walls

Blank walls are not permitted fronting streets unless absolutely necessary. If so, these walls should be treated to enhance the pedestrian experience. Examples include greenery, window boxes and murals.

Temporary Uses

Building lifecycle should also be considered in regards to the active use zone. Some uses could be installed temporarily, with a plan for transitioning to a more permanent active use over time.

Limitations for Nightclubs & Lounges

Any nightclub or lounge (as defined by the City Alcohol Code) requires a Special Use Permit (SUP). See the Zoning Ordinance for more information.

28 An Owner’s Manual

Street level commercial businesses bring vitality to Midtown. Extra thought and care are necessary in considering the details needed to provide the greatest opportunity for the business to brand themselves to succeed and serve the area.

Storefront Renderings

AvoidAvoid monotonous design at ground level by breaking up retail bays. A shopper's line of sight should be unobstructed from one retail bay to another. To do so, limit columns and keep pilasters to no more than 4 inch depth. Use only ultra-clear high performance glass. All windows and doors should be clear of excessive signs/ displays to allow visibility into businesses. Merchandise displays are encouraged to show featured store items.

Open Air Patio / Display Spaces

Provide sliding / folding doors and windows to allow activity to spill onto the supplemental zone. Consider any fencing / barriers along with movable furniture to maintain access to front doors and offer a welcoming attractive appearance.

Vehicular Services

Consider how regular customers will have convenient access. If valet service will be provided, identify how can it be be handled with least disruption to the street and sidewalk. For back of house activities include readily accessible delivery and screened trash servicing.

Special Infrastructure

Restaurants especially have specific needs that should be identified in initial design. Items to be determined early include electrical, water, sewer, grease traps, HVAC and its venting.

Merchandise Plan

Provide interior dimensions including interior square footages and dimensions including recommended minimum 25 feet wide frontages, minimum 14 feet interior ceiling heights and minimum 12 feet exterior soffit heights.

BD-1 Street Level 29
Varied Storefront Design / Branding Visibility into Businesses Operable Windows / Doors


Uses - Art Restaurants
Uses – Recreational Climbing Wall
Solid Walls Retail 30
The design variety and quality of individual storefronts adds value to the entire district. Creative StorefrontThree Dimensionality Creative Storefront - Nooks and Cubbies Varied Material Palettes Integrated Awning and Signage Sliding and Folding Doors for Flexibility Glass Fenestration Customized Retail Frontages Potted Plants and Natural Materials Outdoor Merchandising 31

Storefront Design

Storefront design should be considered a critical element of the building design and the street level experience.


Storefronts should be distinctive from the floors above and allow easy transition from one retailer to another without major structural changes. Monotonous designs should be avoided, while allowing for tenant flexibility.


Entry doors should be recessed to allow doors to swing out without obstructing the pedestrian flow. Where appropriate, sliding/folding doors and windows allow flexibility and activity to spill onto the supplemental zone.


Awnings can be a creative addition to a storefront design, incorporating color, texture and potentially signage. Per the requirements, if included, awnings should project no more than six feet from the building and should be mounted at least eight feet above the sidewalk.


Bulla Gastropub

Location: 60 11th Street

Bulla evokes a modern Spanish restaurant by inserting a unique architectural strorefront into the ground floor bays of the building. Canopy sgnage, unique lighting and hanging planters enhance the facade and create a conforming outdoor dining experience.

Glass Fenestration

Clear glass fenestration allows for transparency and animation at the street level. Per the zoning, all glass fenestration must comprise a minimum of a percentage of the length of the street frontage. Specifically 75% along a ‘A1’ classified street, 60% along an ‘A2’ street, 50% along a ‘B’ street with non-residential uses, and 30% along a ‘B’ classified street with residential uses and along a ‘C’ classified street. The fenestration must begin at a point not higher than 36 inches above the sidewalk and reach a height of 10 feet above the sidewalk.

Residential Buildings Street Level Uses

Accessory residential uses (such as lobbies, clubhouses, exercise rooms, bike rooms, etc.) may be necessary, however should be limited in size and location. These are specifically limited along type A streets to a maximum of 50% of the building frontage.

32 An Owner’s Manual

Color and Texture

Three Dimensionality

Creative Blade Signs

Mixed Materials

Three Dimensionality and Natural Light Effects

Integrated Window Signage and Display

Integrated Signage and Awnings

Signage standards boost impact by reducing visual clutter.

Light and Texture

Visual Engagment



All building signage should be seen as an opportunity to further activate the streets across Midtown. While all signage is important, the critical signage opportunity lies at the street level. Signage for this zone should focus on creative under canopy signs, blade signs and window signs.

Street Address

Per the zoning requirements, a street address number should be located directly above the primary building entrance and should be clearly visible from the sidewalk with a minimum of 6 inches in height.

Building Signage

All signage in Midtown must meet the Sign Ordinance. freestanding or shopping center signs are not permitted. Only building signature signs and a limited number and size of business identification signs are permitted. See the Zoning Ordinance (Section 16-28A.010(37)) for more info.


Park 27

Location: 950 West Peachtree Street

Park 27 provides a variety of signage viewable from a pedestrian and vehicular scale. It includes wall signage upon a unique textured background along both street frontages. Above the architectural canopy on the second level a suspended sign is visible from afar from multiple streets.

Projecting Marquee Canopy Parapet Wall Suspended
34 An Owner’s Manual

BD-2 Facades & Enclosure

The facades and enclosure of a building establish the architectural experience of Midtown. Each development should consider its architectural stance within the fabric of the District as well as potential performance measures that could be incorporated.


Building articulation is a critical component of the architectural experience, especially for a pedestrian at the street level.

Per the zoning requirements, the first three levels of the building facades should be articulated to avoid monotonous or uniform facades and to create a pedestrian scale environment. At grade, a minimum 20' depth of visibility into the buildng is necessary for all residential uses and 40' for non-residential uses.

To achieve this articulation, changes in materials and shifts in the vertical plane (like a projection or recession of the upper floors from the ground floor build to line) should be considered as part of a building’s design.

Diagram 02: Building Articulation at the Street

A building’s massing should be articulated at the street level to create a street scale experience. Shifts in the vertical plane of the first three levels are an easy way to achieve this articulation.


Lilli Midtown

Location: 693 Peachtree Street

Using crisp design elements to distinguish the ground floor from residential units above, Lilli delivers a striking facade along Peachtree Street. On the corner of 3rd Street and Peachtree Street the mixed-use building echoes this differentiation between the restaurant at grade and the residential units above to create a unique and inviting experience in view near or far.



BD-2 Facades & Enclosure 35

Distinction at the first three levels are key to creating an approachable and engaged street presence.

Shifts in the Massing Scale and Position Massing Distinction at the Building’s First Three Levels Material Changes at the Building’s Base Levels Massing Distinction in Program Elements
Facade and Massing Articulation

Exploring Three Dimensionality in Facades

Mixing Materials

Balconies Integrated into the Facade Design

The facades and enclosure of a building establish the unique architectural mix of Midtown.

Simple Curtainwall Designs to Highlight a Building’s Activities

Material Changes to Highlight Changes in Use

Creative Facade Articulation to Breakdown Building Mass

Facade Detailing and Materials

Facade details and exterior building materials offer opportunities to explore and develop a unique architectural expression for a project. The approach to facade design should be inspired since the exterior of each building in Midtown plays an important role in defining the overall character of the district, differentiating it from other urban centers.

Considerations such as environmental impact and performance should be taken into account when selecting building materials and how they are used.

In addition, dramatic lighting and art pieces can accentuate the building and its design details. This provides visual interest both day and night and reinforces the vibrancy of Midtown's identity as a 24-hour environment.


Location: 1075 Peachtree Street

The varied light show in the lobby along the east side of Peachtree Street blends artful materials with transparency to create a unique expression at night.

Icon Midtown / Whole Foods, 22 14th St.
38 An Owner’s Manual
Epicurian Hotel, 1105 West Peachtree St.
BD-2 Facades & Enclosure 39



Roofs are an opportunity to create additional open spaces that capitalize on Midtown's skyline as a backdrop. Each development should investigate these opportunities and seek creative, active solutions.

Materials and Organization

Roofs are critical visual elements in creating successful buildings and should be designed as a “fifth facade,” integrated into the building’s overall design.

Roofs should be designed from the user and viewer standpoint. These spaces should include volumes and surfaces varying in form, massing and materiality. Design should consider mixing soft and hardscape to create a roofscape that incorporates usable open space and sustainable design strategies.

Roofs should use non-reflective materials and low-intensity lighter color to minimize the heat-island effect. Low slope roofs (less than 2:12) are required a minimum SRI of 78. A high slope roof (more than 2:12) are required a minimum SRI of 29. Renewable/energy-generating materials are encouraged.


Exhale Yoga

Location: 1075 Peachtree Street

This Midtown fitness studio takes classes to the roof on nice days to enjoy fresh air and the inspiration provided by Midtown’s dramatic skyline. This is possible due to a rooftop terrace incorporated into the design of the Loew’s Hotel which provides unique flex space for programming and events. Namaste.


All mechanical equipment, ventilation exhausts, and other HVAC components should be integrated into roof design to minimize their visual impact from street level and from elevated points in adjacent buildings. At minimum screening must be to the peak height of the equipment.

Active Uses

Roofs provide a tremendous opportunity to incorporate active public spaces into a building’s design. Potential active uses include active gardens, recreational activities, passive gardens, productive greenhouses, outdoor seating, rooftop restaurants and beer gardens.

Depending on the uses, retractable roofs and other coverings should be considered to facilitate year round activity

40 An Owner’s Manual

Roofs are valuable areas that should be designed and programmed as another way to experience the energy of Midtown.

Agriculture Public Gathering Spaces Private Gathering Spaces Multi-Purpose Spaces
Rooftop Dining

BD-4 Parking

Parking is a necessary element and should be organized within buildings where possible. When parking structures are visible from the public realm, each development should explore visually compelling and sensitively designed facades.

Vehicular Parking

Vehicular parking requirements are based on parking space maximums by use. In Midtown, there are no parking space minimums. See the Zoning Ordinance (Section 16-18P.022. Off-street Parking Requirements) for information.

Parking Reduction or Transfer

Parking reductions or transfers may be granted when one of two requirements are met:

1. The character or use of the building is such that the full provision of parking facilities is unnecessary.

2. The applicant has established a valid shared or off-site parking arrangement.

Unbundling Parking

Unbundled parking separates parking spaces from residential or office units, requiring parking spaces to be rented or sold separately, rather than automatically including them with building space. This strategy for parking reduction should be explored if possible. This is not only a more equitable solution, but can also reduce the total amount of parking required for the building.

Shared and Carpool Parking

Shared and carpool parking spaces are encouraged through Midtown. For shared parking, strategies of building less parking onsite with requirements for using existing parking elsewhere should be explored. For carpools, strategies like priority parking should be eplored. Strategies for these spaces should relate to the Transportation Management Plan (TMP) as needed.

Zero Emissions Vehicle Parking and Charging Stations

All parking facilities must include electric vehicle charging stations, or similar facilities, in a ratio of at least 1 station for every 100 parking spaces. No development is required to exceed a maximum of 12 stations.

On-Street Parking

On-street parking can be designed into a site to allow convenient parking spaces and to generate street activity. Designing on-street parking is highly encouraged if space is available. If on-street parking is pursued, the spaces created can not count towards a building’s target parking space count.

Short-Term Parking / Dropoff

Short-term parking and dropoff areas facilitate easy parking locations for drivers and light deliveries (for example a single flower delivery). If space is available, these areas are strongly encouraged.

42 An Owner’s Manual

Creative parking strategies are encouraged to save resources and provide for all users.

Electric Vehicle Charging Station On-Street Parking On-Street Parking Shared Vehicle Parking (like ZipCar)

Three Dimensionality

All parking structures can positive impact on the public realm if designed as buildings rather than utilitarian infrastructure.


Sculptural Expression

Color and Texture

Lighting and Texture


Combining Screening and Vegetation


Parking Structures

Parking structures should be designed with building program wrapping the structure as much as possible. If not possible, parking structures should be designed and developed as part of the building design. Surface parking lots are discouraged and shall not be provided independently of buildings within Midtown.


Any parking structure within 20’ vertical feet of sidewalk-level must have an intervening active use between the structure and the public realm (sidewalk and street). The horizontal depth of this active use is a minimum of 20 feet for residential uses and a minimum of 40 feet for non-residential uses. Above 20 vertical feet of sidewalk-level all parking is required to have screening features to conceal visibility and carry the appearance of the building. Creativity is encouraged through the use of color, texture and even kinetic elements to animate the screens. Alternatively, the structures themselves can be designed with a sculptural expression. If the parking structure is exposed in a side or rear yard a 10 feet wide landscaped and tree buffer area is necessary.


Emory University

Hospital - Midtown

Parking Deck

Location: SW Corner of Linden

Avenue & West Peachtree Street

A creative geometric design combines both texture and screening for the parking structure along with pedestrian friendly sidewalk level facade.

BD-4 Parking 45

Bicycle Parking

Quality bicycle parking in residential and office spaces is vital for promoting bicycle riding as a sustainable transportation option. With thoughtful design and effective promotion, these facilities encourage residents and employees to choose cycling regularly, contributing to overall sustainability.

Thoughtful Design

Attention to long-term bicycle parking design can make the difference between low and high usage in a development. A well-designed, easy-to-access, functional bicycle room, with racks that fit a variety of bicycle types, can help encouraging riding as a practical way to travel by making the end of trip comfortable and safe.

Capacity is Key

Bike storage capacity should align with the building’s daily population, size, and uses. A best practice is to dedicate 15 – 25 SF per desired bike stall.

So how much bicycle storage is appropriate?

Office Land Uses: 1 stall per 10,000 sf

Residential Land Uses: 0.5 stalls per bedroom

*Based on Association of Pedestrian and Bicycle Professionals (APBP) guidelines.


Long-term bike storage facilities range widely in level of comfort and quality. Generally, an increase in dedicated, conditioned space equates to higher rider satisfaction. See a continuum from lowest to highest quality facilities here:

Location, Location, Location

Bicycle parking in the development should prioritize convenience, accessibility, visibility, and east of use.

• At least 50% of bicycle parking should be secure storage inside the building.

• Bicycle storage should be no more than 100 feet from a common entrance and as close as the nearest car parking space.

• Aim for a centralized location, rather than distributed options across the property, and ensure signage makes the parking easy to find.

Sizing your Bike Storage Facility


Floor Area sf x 10% x 20 sf


# of bedrooms x 50% x 20 sf

46 An Owner’s Manual

Bicycle and moped spaces must be located within the street furniture

All office buildings containing over 50,000 square feet of gross office and tree zone or at least as close as the closest car parking space (except for handicapped parking spaces). There must be at least 1 bicycle and moped parking space for every 20 car parking spaces, with a minimum of 3 bicycle and moped parking spaces.

Bicycle parking and valets should also be considered within the building. These facilities can potentially serve as an active use at the street level. See BD-1 for more information.

space must provide showering facilities (including showers and lockers), in a ratio of at least 2 showering facilities for every 50,000 square feet of gross office space. These facilities must be available to all building tenants and their employees, provided that no office building be required to exceed a maximum of 4 showering facilities.

Bike parking promotes social and individual health while providing for and supporting cycling as a viable alternative to private vehicles.
Exterior Bike Parking Covered Bike Racks Bike Shelter Bike Room Bike Valet and Indoor Parking

Different Spokes for Different Folks

Recommended Horizontal Racks

Inverted U


•Simple and widely available design

•Two points of bicycle contact for stability


•Versatile design that accommodates various bike sizes and styles

•Less prone to perpendicular parking

Post & Ring



•Limited capacity per rack

•Unfamiliar users often lock bike perpendicularly


•Challenging to stabilize bikes

Wheel Well Secure

•Stabilizes wheel in place

•Minimizes interaction with bike frame



•High density design suitable for small areas

•Maintains a floor level parking option


•Limited compatibility with all bike types

•More challenging to lock securely

Rack Types to Avoid

Grid Racks


• Nicknamed the “wheel bender”, this rack only supports the bike wheel, increasing risk of damage

•Often used incorrectly, diminishing space efficiency

Wave Racks


•Do not provide two points of contact for bikes

•Typically have bikes packed in tightly, limiting functionality and access

Coat Hanger Racks


•High cost

•Not as intuitive and requires some effort to operate

• Usually only fits traditional bicycle model styles

Recommended Vertical Racks


•Highly space efficient

•Intuitive for users


•Require lifting of bike to use

•May not be suitable for all bike styles


•Limited stability due to only one point of contact

•Limited functionality due to overlapping of handlebars and tightly packed bikes

Supporting Features

Attention to detail can truly elevate a user’s experience of a bicycle storage facility. Small details can make a big difference in creating a feeling of safety and comfort.

Safety/Security Elements

Lighting – A well-lit area can increase the perception of safety and discourage theft and vandalism. It also makes it easier for users to navigate the room.

Protection from Weather – An enclosed or covered space allows users to avoid unpleasant or unsafe weather when starting or ending their bike trip.

Access Control System – The installation of access control can manage entry into the facility so that unwanted persons can’t enter. Access can be granted on an application basis or assigned to all residents or employees, depending on the level of effort and security desired.

Storage Lockers – Providing storage lockers will give users an option to store clothes and other items in a secure location.

Security Cameras – Security cameras allow building management to monitor activity within the bike storage area and discourage criminal activity.

Comfort Amenities

Bike Repair Station– The provision of basic repair tools and bike pumps can allow users to service their bikes as needed.

Seating – A seating area gives users a place to change shoes and clothing, load gear, or take a break.

Conditioned Space – Climate control should match the conditioned spaces of the building, giving riders a comfortable space to begin and end their trips. Climate control is crucial if the space provides showers and changing areas.

Showers/Restrooms – Showers and restrooms are particularly useful in the office setting, where users may be sweaty from their inbound bike commute.

E-Bike Charging – Providing users with the capability to charge their bike battery can be a great amenity for the increasing pool of E-bike riders.

Wayfinding Signage – Signs, maps, and floor markings help users locate the bike storage area, especially guest users.

Role of Property Management

Property managers should develop an effective communication method to educate residents or tenants on the availability of bike storage. The details of how to gain access, locate, and use the facility should be prominently displayed on internal and external websites and provided throughout the orientation process. Riders can’t use it if they don’t know it exists!


Bike Facility Implementation Tips


1.Early Planning

• Communicate bike parking importance to architects in initial design.

• Determine capacity based on development program and ensure infrastructure readiness.

2.Location Selection

• Prioritize visibility and accessibility.

• Evaluate indoor/outdoor options, considering proximity to travel ways and transit hubs.

3.Design Diversity & Flexibility

• Include varied bike parking options.

• Design for scalability to meet future demand.

4.Aesthetics & Amenities

• Plan for amenities (changing stations, lockers, repair stations).

• Enhance aesthetics with creative elements.


• Promote bike parking availability early in leasing through various channels.

Access Controlled Bike Storage

Bike Room Well-Lit Facilities Bike Storage with Easy Stair Accessibility for Bikes

Redesignated Space in Parking Garages

Redesignated Space

Bike Facility Implementation Tips


1.Assess Existing Space

• Identify underused areas wit potential for conversion.

Redesignated Space

2.Engage with Property Tenants/Residents

• Collaborate to understand the expectations of users.

3.Evaluate Conversion Feasibility

• Assess the ability of space to meet the bike parking demand or tenant expectations.

• Identify threats to success relative to best practices (i.e., no light, stair only access, poor visibility from street or building entrance).

• Work through a conversion feasibility exercise to overcome limitations.

4.Be Creative!

• Use local artists, add color, incorporate local maps, trails, routes, etc.

Bike Storage Integrated into Mail Rooms

BD-5 Performance & Sustainability

Building performance and sustainability is critical to each building and its individual impact on Midtown. Building on the district’s sustainability plan, Greenprint Midtown, each development should investigate solutions in transportation, water, energy and waste.


The function, convenience, cost, and safety of our transportation system has a significant effect on quality of life, the environment and the economic health of regions and communities. The transportation goals for Midtown are to improve access and mobility, decrease single occupancy vehicle trips to, from and within Midtown, and to reduce the total amount of miles people travel by motor vehicle.

To help Midtown meet these goals, buildings should seek opportunities to increase the number of employees and residents using transit, walking, and bicycling. This could include special bicycle facilities, real-time transit arrival displays, parking strategies, and other elements that encourage alternative transportation.

Provide Real-time Display of Transportation Options

Providing real-time information in the common areas of buildings encourages residents, employees, and visitors to consider multiple travel options in Midtown. Displays can provide real-time availability for MARTA rail and bus, Zipcar, Uber, Lyft, shared scooters and shared bikes along with other options.

Pursue Shared Parking Opportunities

Adjacent properties with different peak hours of parking demand may consider shared parking, thus reducing the number of parking spaces that each property owner would provide individually

Provide Electric Vehicle Charging Stations

The trend toward vehicle electrification will result in improved air quality and less reliance on petroleum. Buildings can play a major role in supporting the use and growth of EVs by providing appropriate charging stations.

Provide Bike/Scooter Facilities

Bicycling and scooters are non-polluting forms of transportation that is quickly growing in popularity. In addition to providing short and long-term bicycle and scooter parking, buildings should consider providing bicycle/scooter storage rooms, bike repair stations, and other amenities that encourage these modes.


Clean and readily available water is fundamental to environmental and human health, as well as economic prosperity. Our City and State face significant water quality and supply issues that could affect how our community grows and prospers. Three overarching goals have been identified to meet these needs in Midtown: minimize storm water runoff from impervious surfaces; increase water efficiency in buildings; and reduce potable water consumption. To help Midtown meet these goals, buildings should utilize water efficiency measures, green stormwater infrastructure, and water-efficient landscapes.

Water-Efficient Plumbing Fixtures

Options to be considered include ultra low-flow toilets and urinals, waterless urinals, low-flow and sensored sinks, low-flow showerheads, and water-efficient dishwashers and washing machines.

Green Stormwater Infrastructure

Options to be considered include green roofs, permeable pavement, bio retention areas, and rainwater recycling.

Irrigation and Landscaping

Options to be considered include WaterSense labeled irrigation control systems, low-flow sprinkler heads, waterefficient scheduling practices, and xeriscaping.

56 An Owner’s Manual

Sustainable solutions can both benefit Midtown residents and increase a building’s marketability.

Energy Star Certification
Solar Shading Bioswales Urban Composting Bike Infrastructure
Drought Tolerant Plants
ENERGY STAR certification is the simplest choice for ensuring smart energy usage. The process is simple.

ENERGY STAR certified buildings save energy, save money, and help protect the environment by generating fewer greenhouse gas emissions than typical buildings. To be certified as ENERGY STAR, a building must meet strict energy performance standards set by EPA.

Based on the information you share about your building (such as its size, location and number of occupants), the ENERGY STAR score algorithm estimates how much energy the building would use if it were the best performing, the worst performing, and every level in between. It then compares the actual energy data you entered to the estimate to determine where your building ranks relative to its peers. The ENERGY STAR score accounts for differences in operating conditions, regional weather data, and other important considerations.

Certification is given on an annual basis, so a building must maintain its high performance to be certified year to year. Also, the information submitted in the certification application must be verified by a licensed Professional Engineer (PE) or Registered Architect (RA) to be eligible for approval.

For more information, check out the ENERGY STAR website:

Existing Buildings

https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/ facility-owners-and-managers/existingbuildings

New Construction

https://www.energystar.gov/buildings/ facility-owners-and-managers/newconstruction



Midtown’s economic growth and quality of life depends on clean, reliable, and affordable energy - to keep buildings comfortable, to move trains and cars, to manage traffic, and to keep Midtown streets and sidewalks safe.

To help Midtown meet these goals, buildings should promote energy conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy.

Green Building Bonus

Developments that provide a level of LEED Gold or equivalent and will use no-potable water sources for all outdoor water use and can demonstrate a 10% reduction of energy use compared to City Energy Code is offered a density bonus of 0.5 times gross lot area.

Achieve Third Party Certification

If density isn’t needed the best way to ensure that your building will meet Midtown’s energy goals is to pursue the U.S. EPA’s “Designed to Earn the ENERGY STAR” certification program. Your project can achieve this certification if it will perform, based on energy models, among the top 25 percent of similar buildings nationwide once constructed.


1315 Peachtree

Location: 1315 Peachtree Street

1315 Peachtree is a snapshot of how current technologies can be used to achieve the highest LEED Platinum Certification rating and meet the Architecture 2030 Challenge. The design achieved LEED Platinum with 95 points, making it the highest LEED certification for any new construction building in the Northern hemisphere and one of the greenest buildings in the world.


Given the number of people that live, work and play in Midtown, a significant amount of waste is generated. This waste contributes to air, water and land pollution. However, Midtown’s diversity and concentration of uses provide significant opportunities for successful waste reduction strategies that can make measurable differences, are cost neutral and support local industry.

To help Midtown meet these goals, buildings should implement waste reduction and recycling programs. The most successful waste reduction strategies are planned during the design process.

Construction and Demolition Waste

Make sure to recycle and/or salvage at least 50% of nonhazardous construction and demolition debris. Donate reusable materials to the Lifecycle Building Center.

Recycling and Composting

Actively design building facilities that accommodate and encourage recycling and composting as much as possible.

BD-5 Systems & Performance 59




Creating places where people want to linger.






of new public spaces

with existing public spaces

oriented to the public street

from fountains to art installations



See OS-2


See OS-2


See OS-1, OS-2


See OS-1, OS-2



See OS-1, OS-2


See OS-1, OS-2


See OS-2

What are the important open space elements?


See OS-1, OS-2


See OS-1, OS-2


See OS-2


OS-1 Open Spaces

Publicly accessible open spaces add variety to the pedestrian experience and can make a development more memorable and distinct. Each development should create open spaces with activities to attract people and unique, compelling design solutions.

Active Uses

The best open spaces are alive with amenities. These amenities should be uniquely designed to fit their context and their location, providing multiple reasons for people to linger without hindering circulation and access.

Active amenities include a wide range of possibilities, such as art, water features, seating and dog walks. When appropriate, these amenities should engage pedestrians with tactile experiences that are unexpected. Active amenities can also be programmatic in nature, like rotating installations and music or performances on special days. Landscape elements should be used to provide a backdrop for these active amenities, establishing multidimensional spaces people desire. Examples include shade trees, green walls, movable planters, as well as bike racks and bike related elements, like air pumps for tires.


The Grove at Colony Square

Location: 1197 Peachtree Street

The Grove features a terraced patio shaded by canopy trees. The combination of lush landscaping and wood surfaces provide a warm contrast to the surrounding commercial buildings. Visitors are invited to linger and enjoy the natural setting while dining, working or people watching.

Public Park Incentive

A new 20,000 plus square foot park space that meets the design criteria of Sec. 16-18P.010(3.c) is eligible a bonus of eight (8) times the size of such park applied to the open space requirement.

Public Art

Developers are encouraged to set aside space for public art as a focal point for their projects. This can include designating a blank surface as a mural wall or establishing a location for three-dimemensinal sculpture that anchors a public space. Public art should be visible and accessible from the adjacent sidewalk, park or plaza. Coordinate with Midtown Alliance to find an artist or explore opportunities to host an artist-in-residence as part of the Heart of the Arts initiative.

64 An Owner’s Manual

Active use amenities engage pedestrians with elements that are unexpected, interactive, and playful.

Combined Light and Art Installations Art Movable Planters within Multi-Purpose Spaces Sculptural Seating Movable Seating within Multi-Purpose Spaces Water Features
Outdoor Games Outdoor Book Stalls / Libraries Cafe Kiosk Outdoor Markets / Pop Up Cafes Outdoor / Oversized Games Outdoor Musical Instruments
Live Performance Dog Runs / Dog Parks Bike Lockers / Bike Fix-It Stations Outdoor Seating Technology and Art
Artful Crosswalks and Pedestrian Ways
Urban open spaces create common ground for the district: places for people to explore, collaborate and escape the daily grind.
Small Gardens for Varied Experience Multi-Purpose Spaces for Passive Activities Flexible Seating for Gathering Small Courtyards for Gathering, Dining and Socializing Pocket Gardens with Water Features Formal Plazas for Structured Activites
Pocket Gardens that Engage the Street


Publicly accessible open spaces should be designed to engage a variety of users - including those of different ages, interests, and abilities. Open spaces should respond to the scale of the development and the building typology. Some examples at varying scales include plazas, courtyards, pocket parks, and gardens. Note that private balconies do not count towards open space requirements.

The design of open spaces should contribute to performance goals for the project while also providing a unique and pleasant experience for users. Performance-based strategies might include shade gardens and stormwater management. Experience-based strategies might include tactile material changes, art, interactive installations an educational components.


Norfolk Southern Plaza

Location: 650 West Peachtree Street

The plaza at Norfolk Southern's headquarters provides a quarter acre 'outdoor room' for office workers and an inviting space for the public. The interplay of art and landscape design creates a dynamic environment that activates this prominent corner in Midtown. This is a perfect example of how private property can provide unique shared space for the community.

OS-1 Open Spaces 69

OS-2 Supplemental Zones

Supplemental zones are the direct link between streets and buildings. Each development should explore creative, lively and welcoming solutions for this zone, providing activation and interest at the street level.

Active Uses

Supplemental zones enhance the street life of the district and give each development a presence on the street. Thus, like open spaces, supplemental zones should be activated with a variety of uses, both permanent and temporary (potentially changing with the seasons).

Examples of activities include creative shelters, merchandise display, signature furniture, interactive displays, play areas, outdoor dining, public interactive art, lighting art, planters, stations for dog walkers, cyclists and other Midtown visitors.


Supplemental zones have both minimum and maximum dimensions. The minimums are typically at 5 feet, unless along Peachtree Street north of 14th Street which has a 30' minimum. The maximum building setbacks range from 30 feet to 50 feet, unless along Peachtree Street north of 14th Street which has a 70' maximum. These spaces should be uniquely activated as noted above.


Georgian Terrace

Location: 659 Peachtree Street

This historic Georgian Terrace building was updated with a gracious outdoor lounge elevated several feet above the sidewalk to create a cozy perch for dining, people watching and relaxing. The inviting patio is accessible by a set of steps from the sidewalk and provides a shady spot for outdoor dining.

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Creative Presence
Connect the building
the street in unique and inviting ways.
Presence Beyond the Building Edge 71
Supplemental Zones are one place where Midtown’s diversity and variety shine. Unique Paving Textures Material Shifts Art and Installation that Tells Stories Recharging Stations Retail and Signage Spill Out 72
Art and Lighting Green Permeable Surfaces


Materiality within the supplemental zone can be explored. Some options include custom pavers, permeable pavers and pavement as well as patterns and special graphics.

Depending on the adjacent uses, the following guidelines should be taken into account in the design. Retail supplemental zones should be hardscaped. Residential supplemental zones must be landscaped or provide a porch or terrace.

Grading and Walls

With Midtown’s ever-changing ground plane, grading within the supplemental zone is an important part of a development’s design. Sidewalk levels should meet finish floor elevations of buildings as often as possible. When not possible, stepping creative solutions should be explored.


Per the zoning requirements, no walls, except retaining walls, shall be located between the street and any building, with the exception of screening for authorized off-street loading areas.

Height Clearances

Per the zoning requirements, the supplemental zone shall be no more than 30” above finished grade or the adjacent public sidewalk. Retaining walls shall not exceed 36” with no other walls between the building and street allowed.


Pour Taproom

Location: 1180 Peachtree Street

Pour (formerly TAP) turned a challenging topographic condition into a unique amenity and experience. Connecting the finish floor of the restaurant with the sidewalk level, the restaurant spills out into the supplemental zone in a series of terraces nestled amidst lush landscaping and a small fountain quieting nearby traffic.

OS-2 Supplemental Zones 73




Crafting high-quality streets that elevate the Midtown experience.







standard materials and street furniture create a sense of place

marked crosswalks and wide sidewalks promote pedestrian capacity, safety and comfort

adequate and appropriately scaled street lighting enhances safety

underground utilities reduce visual clutter and increase property value

for walking, bicycles, alternative fueled vehicles, automobiles and other transit options



See ST-2


See ST-1


See ST-2


See ST-2



See ST-2

What are the important streetscape elements?


See ST-1


See ST-2


ST-1 Sidewalk Zone

Sidewalk zones are designed per Midtown street types. Each development should conform to these standards extending the design of Midtown’s continuous public realm.


Sidewalks consist of two zones: (1) clear zone and (2) a tree and furniture zone.

Clear Zone Requirements

All sidewalk zones require a 10 foot wide clear zone. Peachtree Street is the exception to this rule with a minimum of 15 feet.

All clear zones must be completely unobstructed from the ground to a minimum height of 8 feet by any permanent or non-permanent element. Awnings and marquees may extend to the property line as needed but cannot encroach beyond the clear zone.

Tree and Furniture Zone Requirements

See ST-2 Tree and Furniture Zone for more information.

Diagram 03: Sidewalk Zones Location

Sidewalk zones are composed of both the clear zone and the tree and furniture zone.

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Sidewalk zones are designed per Midtown street types. Each development should conform to these standards extending the design of Midtown’s continuous public realm.


Sidewalk zones (including both clear zones and tree & furniture zones) are a minimum of 15 feet. Peachtree Street is the larger exception to this rule with a minimum of 20 feet for the sidewalk zone. Maximum building setbacks along Peachtree from the street curb are 50’ south of 14th Street and 70 feet north of 14th Street. Other Midtown streets setbacks are typically a maximum of 30 feet from street curb but Cypress Street, Peachtree Walk has a maximum of 40 feet from street curb. Any sidewalks less than 15 feet require variation.

Sidewalk Zone Width Transitions

Where properties are adjacent to other zoning districts (like R-1, R-G or PD-H) without an intervening street, the sidewalk area within 20 feet of such districts need to taper as necessary to provide a smooth transition to the existing R, RG, or PD-H district sidewalk. In the event that the abutting R, RG, or PD-H district has no existing sidewalk, the sidewalk will taper to a width of 6 feet.

Intersection Visibility Requirements

Nothing can be placed, planted or allowed to grow as to impede visibility within visibility triangles at street intersections between the heights of 2.5 feet and 8 feet above grade. Visibility triangles are defined by extending the linear street curbing (without the intersection curb radius) to a point in the street then applying 15' parallel to the both adjoining streets from the point.


ST-2 Tree & Furniture Zone

Tree and furniture zones must be designed per Midtown street types and design standards. Each development should plan to these standards and locate opportunities to activate this zone with the appropriate street furniture.


The tree and furniture zone must be a minimum of 5 feet in width and must be located immediately adjacent to the curb. This zone must be continuous and follow the requirements of this section. Along state routes this zone may need to be a minimum of 7 feet to allow for street lights and street furniture.


In addition to trees and furniture, this zone may also be used for the placement of utility poles, fire hydrants, traffic signs, newspaper vending boxes, bus shelters, bicycle, scooter racks and similar elements. Any additional elements can be added as long as it does not obstruct pedestrian access or motorist visibility and is approved by the Office of Zoning and Development.

Overhead utilities should be buried along both ‘A’ and ‘B’ classified streets, and otherwise recommend to be buried along all streets wherever possible.

Hardscape Materials

Along Peachtree Street, 10th Street and 14th Street tree and furniture zone surfaces should be paved with 6” x 6” pavers. Also, where required, corner intersections should be wrapped with a consistent 5 foot band. Paver bed installation instructions are available from Midtown Alliance and should be used accordingly. All other streets shall not have special pavers but shall be finished with standard scored concrete.

Paver Colors and Finishes

All special pavers should be quarry red autumn color with Tudor or Shotblast finish. Refer to the Midtown Streetscape Design Matrix on the Midtown Alliance website for details of specified color.

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Tree Spacing and Planted Zone

Street trees must be planted at a distance of either 30 or 40 feet apart depending on the street and must be placed on-center within the tree and furniture zone. Trees should be spaced equally between street lights across the block face except not within 5 feet of any curbcut and driveway.

The area between required plantings should typically be hardscape in accordance with the Midtown Streetscape Plan but as appropriate can either be planted with groundcover (such as Liriope spicata).

Tree Types

Tree species types are assigned to each Midtown corridor from the Midtown tree type palette (a selection noted is below). Refer to the Midtown Streetscape Plan for details on tree type specifications and cultivars per corridor. Note: All plantings, planting replacement and planting removal shall be approved by the City Arborist.

Tree Size

Street trees must be a minimum of 12 feet in height and 3 inches in caliper at the time of planting. At maturity, street trees should be a minimum of 40 feet in height and must be limbed to a minimum of 7 feet in height. Trees should have a minimum of 40 square feet planting area to allow enough space to grow.

Tree Grates & Fencing

Tree grates are prohibited except along Peachtree Street. Otherwise, tree planting areas should be planted with groundcover (such as Liriope spicata). Where adjacent to parallel parking the fencing should be only on the three sides - excluding the parking side.

WILLOW OAK Quercus phellos

Furniture and Streetlights


All furniture elements must follow Midtown standards. Specific furniture is noted below and should be painted CODA green or black.



Lighting requirements are different for each street corridor with three streetlight types. Refer to the Midtown Streetscape Design Matrix for details on streetlights per corridor. All streetlights must be painted CODA green. All street lights shall be located centered in the street furniture zone and never encroach into the clear zone.

82 ST-2 Tree & Furniture Zone Logo aligned parallel to roadway Metal skirt 8’-0” 26’-6” 20” 16” Metal skirt

Appendix Construction Best Practices

Construction activity in Midtown is welcomed and progress is celebrated. However, the public domain must be maintained. The below outlines the rules and policies associated with construction.

Construction Hours

Construction is limited to 7am-7pm Monday-Friday & 9am-7pm weekends & holidays. A temporary extension of hours is possible via special authorization from the City of Atlanta (per Sec. 74-135). Please contact AtlDOT (and cc Midtown Blue) if a special authorization will be requested.

• Midtown Blue: midtownblue@midtownatl.com


All construction truck/vehicle activity should not be audible beyond 100’ of distance from the source at any time (per Sec. 74-133-134). Note: it's understood certain demolition or construction activities may exceed this auditory level but this would be limited during normal hours.


/ Lane Closure Permits

A permit must be obtained with time limits followed. Provide construction schedule via email to Midtown Blue. Note: An APD officer is required on-site for lane or sidewalk closures.

• Duration: Max 45-day increment based on specific phase(s) of construction.

• Location Opportunity: If >2 travel lanes exist per direction 1 lane may be used as a pedestrian walkway.

General Requirements

•Pathway: A min. 5’ wide temporary ADA compliant walkway as required with detectable edges between pedestrians and work zones.

•Adjacent Businesses: Keep ADA access to any active business or transit.

•Bike Lanes: Maintain bike lanes(s) as much as possible.

•Signage: Provide MUTCD pedestrian signage on both sides of each crosswalk (every intersection and approach) and at both ends of the work zone.

•Audio Help: Audible devices are encouraged to warn those who are hearing impaired.

• Ground: Fully cover any holes or trenches with fall safe materials (such as temporary metal plates).

• Trees: Protect trees as they exist (unless permitted for removal, pruning, trimming, etc.)

• Fencing:

o For tower cranes: Provide min. 8’ high security chain link fencing topped with barbed wire accessible via a locked gate(s).

o At construction site periphery: Fence to be anchored but not bolted or otherwise attached into a road or sidewalk that will be maintained for passage. Screened (non-transparent) fencing may be used only on the work zone side. It is encouraged to provide decorative (nonadvertising) fencing for any public facing sides.

• Prohibitions:

o Storage: No materials stored in the walkway.

o Signage: No advertising (expect for on-site real estate), posting or graffiti.

o Parking: Parking a vehicle on any open sidewalk is strictly prohibited.

Permanent Final Condition

The temporary pedestrian walkway is removed, and a permanent sidewalk is provided consistent with the Midtown Streetscape Plan.

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Covered Walkway Additional Requirements

• If any debris may fall use a covered walkway.

•Plans: Front, side and cross section plans need to be provided.

•Ramping: If ramps > 6” dual-sided handrails are needed.

• Roofing: Watertight min. 2” thick covered with fire resistant plywood. Ceiling height min. 8’.

•Lighting: At all times.

•If on a roadway:

o Floor: Road can be leveled with asphalt or covered metal plates to be ADA compliant.

o Side Barriers: Must be channelized with impact resistant barriers with dual-sided continuous edge for pedestrians and reflectors on the traffic side.

Open Walkway Additional Requirements

• Side Barriers: Separated from work zones by fencing or similar ADA barrier device.

• Gates: Any gates to swing toward work zone.

• If on a roadway: Any ramping must meet ADA.

• If on a sidewalk:

o Debris Fencing: Light debris mesh to be used as needed but not within 30’ of a street intersection

o Alternative Path: City can allow detouring of pedestrians to other side of street in extenuating circumstances. If so, ADA must

ROW Repair

A permit must be obtained with time limits followed.

As Part of the Street

No asphalt patch work is allowed More than the affected area needs to be repaired so the remediation ties into the existing roadway. The degree of roadway repair to be remediated depending on the street pavement age as shown in the table below:


Included as part of the Renew Atlanta Program

Three (3) year moratorium on all open cuts on streets resurfaced under the Renew Atlanta Program; except for eminent danger emergency which shall mill and/or overlay 100 feet each side of the trench for the full width of the street lane(s).

Up to 4 years old Mill and/or overlay 100 feet each side of the trench for the full width of the street lane(s).

From 4 to 7 years old Mill and/or overlay 50 feet each side of the trench for the full width of the street lane(s).

Over 7 years old Pavement repair shall be replaced in kind using construction procedures in accordance with City Standard details.

As Part of the Sidewalk

No asphalt patch work, QuickCrete repair or leaving crushed rocks is allowed Any damage to sidewalks must be repaired with concrete to the expansion joint(s) in accordance with the City’s and Midtown’s Details:

•Curbing: All new curbing shall be rough face, rough top granite – except Juniper St. with rough face, smooth top granite and Peachtree Walk which shall be coordinated with Midtown.

•Pavers: Must be placed over crushed walk and tamped down tightly.

•Street Furniture: Reinstall all street furniture back in place as much as possible (trash cans, bike racks, benches, wayfinding signs, etc.)

For full details on the above information, see the following linked reference documents:

• atlantaga.gov/home/showpublisheddocument?id=44400

• Atlanta’s Pedestrian Accomodations in Work Zones: atlantaga.gov/home/showpublisheddocument/37983/636705536093070000

Appendix 85

Creative Construction Fencing

Every work site needs barrier fencing for public safety. In addition to providing basic project information, the fencing can be a canvas for creative expression and an opportunity to highlight Midtown as Atlanta’s cultural and creative epicenter. Development teams are encouraged to coordinate with Midtown Alliance and our Heart of the Arts Program. We can connect you with local artists to produce graphics that will add vibrancy street level and generate additional interest about your project.

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The Midtown Owner’s Manual was designed through a collaboration between: and

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