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ATLANTA-Four new restaurants set to open early next year in the ground level of the 1010 Midtown residential tower are expected to help attract office users as well as residents to the immediate area. Developers of the 35-story structure, part of the 12th & Midtown mixed-use project, say the additions fronting Crescent Avenue should also attract more business to the immediate area.

“It adds to the critical mass, but it also validates Midtown as a restaurant place,” Steve Baile, senior vice president of Daniel Corp. in Atlanta, tells GlobeSt.com. Birmingham, AL-based Daniel is the lead developer of 12th & Midtown, a $2-billion endeavor that also involves Selig Enterprises, MetLife and Canyon-Johnson Urban Funds.

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

Baile says the new restaurants should help that part of town retain some of the business crowds that normally gravitate to nearby Buckhead for lunch and dinner. “Any time you can do that, it adds to the panache of the office tower,” he says.

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

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

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

“We were pioneering with that project,” Baile says of the Plaza. “Street-front space is appealing to a lot of retailers. They’re not all focused on malls.”

With the Crescent Avenue side of 1010 Midtown fully leased, its developers are turning its attention to signing leases in its Peachtree Street retail spaces. “We are working hard to deliver a fresh mix of tenants that are unique to Atlanta,” says Shirley Gouffon, senior VP with Selig Enterprises, adding that the project is getting strong interest from international retailers.

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