"It adds to the critical mass, but it also validates Midtown asa restaurant place," Steve Baile, senior vice president of DanielCorp. in Atlanta, tells GlobeSt.com. Birmingham, AL-based Daniel isthe lead developer of 12th & Midtown, a $2-billion endeavorthat also involves Selig Enterprises, MetLife and Canyon-JohnsonUrban Funds.

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All four of the new restaurants signed at 1010 Midtown are newconcepts to the Atlanta market, according to Baile. They include RiRa, a traditional Irish pub; RA, a contemporary sushi bar; Piola,an Italian-themed pizzeria; and an upscale deli aptly namedNoon/Midtown.

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Baile says the new restaurants should help that part of townretain some of the business crowds that normally gravitate tonearby Buckhead for lunch and dinner. "Any time you can do that, itadds to the panache of the office tower," he says.

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Besides the 443 residential condominium units in the upperfloors of 1010 Midtown, other planned components of 12th &Midtown include 1.2 million sf of office space, two luxury hotelstotaling 600 rooms and 200,000 sf of street-level retail alongPeachtree Street. The project will occupy four full blocks ofMidtown Atlanta between Piedmont Park and Interstates 75/85, with1010 Midtown taking up an entire block itself.

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Restaurant offerings are a key subject of inquiry by prospectiveoffice tenants as well as potential residents of 12th &Midtown, Baile says. Having those restaurants in place should alsomake it easier to attract other retailers, particularly upscalefashion outlets, he says.

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Baile adds that 12th & Midtown should prove to be an easiersell than Daniel's recently finished Plaza at Midtown. That$117-million project has 70,000 sf of grocery-anchored retail atthe foundation of two 20-story towers with more than 400condos.

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"We were pioneering with that project," Baile says of the Plaza."Street-front space is appealing to a lot of retailers. They're notall focused on malls."

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With the Crescent Avenue side of 1010 Midtown fully leased, itsdevelopers are turning its attention to signing leases in itsPeachtree Street retail spaces. "We are working hard to deliver afresh mix of tenants that are unique to Atlanta," says ShirleyGouffon, senior VP with Selig Enterprises, adding that the projectis getting strong interest from international retailers.

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