The first in a series of reports from UNC Kenan-Flagler alumni incorporating sustainability into their work. This Alumni Report from the Field comes from Annie Evans (MBA ’11), Vice President of Development for Green Street Properties.
By Annie Evans (MBA ’11)
Green Street Properties is restoring a 2 million SF building built by Sears in 1926 as a distribution center and retail store, and creating a mixed-use project that will have 450 SF of office, 330 SF of retail and 260 residential units. I’m overseeing the residential portion of the project as a component developer assisting Jim Irwin (MBA from Emory), who is the lead overseeing the entire development.
After Sears discontinued operations the building was owned by the City of Atlanta for many years. Although the city occupied some space in the project, the building is so vast that it was mostly vacant for the majority of the city’s ownership – although they did manage to rebrand it as “City Hall East”, which is the name that most Atlantans attribute to the building. Since she is enormous, and sits at the intersection of four of Atlanta’s most popular in-town neighborhoods (Midtown, Virginia Highland, Poncey Highland and Old Fourth Ward), the public has wanted to see it restored for quite some time.
Because there is so much interest in the project, our development and marketing teams give regular hardhat tours to the public where we walk groups of 30 – 70 people through the building after construction working hours. We use these tours in two ways – first, to raise awareness and excitement about what we are developing there, but also to educate the public on the history of the building and the neighborhoods – which Jamestown views as integral pieces to our redevelopment story because the rich history is part of the reason we think this is a good investment.