The residential project is near Newport’s redevelopment of Hotel Row and 222 Mitchell Street

More Atlantans will soon call South Downtown their home.

Newport, the German real estate investment firm that is redeveloping Historic Hotel Row and 222 Mitchell Street, announced Monday its first residential project which aims to create 650 apartments in the long-neglected part of the city. Within eyeshot of Mercedes-Benz Stadium, two high-rises are planned and will tower above their neighboring century-old buildings.

The apartments and half a dozen accompanying retail and restaurant spaces will transform two blocks of South Broad Street between Mitchell Street and MLK Jr. Drive, roughly a block southwest of the Five Points MARTA station and Underground Atlanta. Currently, the land houses parking lots and garages surrounded by several shuttered, graffiti-covered storefronts.

April Stammel, Newport’s senior vice president, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution that the project site is “one of the most special blocks in Atlanta.” She said adding hundreds of residents to the area is a key part of revitalizing the neighborhood.

“These two buildings, the new construction and the density... will give Broad Street the opportunity to shine even more because it’s essentially creating this center of gravity,” Stammel said.

The two buildings, which have yet to be formally named, will be 18 and 21 stories, respectively. The west building will consist of 300 units, while the east building will have 350 apartments. Both high-rises will include a mix of studio, one- and two-bedroom units.

The project will rank among the few residential high-rises built in downtown in recent decades.

The redevelopment project also includes about 70,000 square feet of retail space, some of which will reuse renovated space in existing buildings, Stammel said.

“When you’re walking on that street, even though the buildings are empty, it still feels great,” she said, adding that it’ll mesh with the walk-in shops being built at nearby Hotel Row.

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Newport purchased dozens of century-old buildings and dilapidated blocks in South Downtown in 2016. More than four dozen historically protected buildings are being redeveloped into restaurants, retail, office and artist spaces as part of the first phase of the South Dwntn redevelopment project.

Through a partnership with Invest Atlanta, Newport will reserve 70 units for tenants who make 80% of the area median income — $54,000 for an individual and $77,120 for a family of four. In addition, 7,000 square feet of retail space will be offered “at reduced rates,” the release said. Stammel said the retail rents have yet to be determined.

The project was designed by Studios Architecture, and the general contractor if Brasfield & Gorrie. Newport said it filed a special administrative permit Sept. 15, which is a required step for developers to receive building permits in many areas of Atlanta. The company expects to break ground next year and finish the two-block project by 2025.

Stammel said this won’t be the only residential development Newport pursues in South Downtown. She said the company owns four acres of surface parking lots, which are underutilized land because of the area’s proximity to MARTA and density.

“The more we can fill in those lots with retail, office, multifamily and hospitality, the more sustainable this neighborhood is going to be,” she said.

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