containing both offices and residential space within its 34 stories, and the $ 140 million it is costing to erect is being found by what might be described as the joint venture of joint ventures. The office space is owned by Duke Realty Corporation, one of the largest national office developers, in collaboration with local developer Pope & Land; the residential chunk of the building is underwritten by Novare Group, which specializes in mixed- use high- rise communities in US urban markets together with Atlanta- based Post Properties, a company known for its resort- style garden apartments and high- density urban apartments. Together these four formed a limited liability company to develop the site. Brasfield & Gorrie was awarded the contract on a cost- plus basis some four years ago; it got seriously into the preconstruction phase early in 2007, breaking ground on July 9 that year. The architects of the 34- story tower- with 425,000 square feet of Class A office space including 17,000 square feet of ground floor retail space- were Handel Architects LLP of New York, working with Atlanta's Smallwood, Reynolds, Stewart, Stewart, and the consulting engineers were also local firms, Uzun & Case, Jordan & Skala, and Long Engineering. It's striking to look at, with its glass curtain wall, and from behind those windows the views will be unrivaled. The original plan was for Post and Novare to run the condominium- style upper half of the building within their existing portfolio; however, as 3630 Peachtree reached the 18th floor, there was a radical change of plan and a new partner entered the mix. This was Ritz- Carlton, which struck a deal with the owners to operate the apartments under its universally recognized brand. Ritz- Carlton had its own ideas about the layout of the 17- floor estate residences, deciding to create 129 one- to three-bedroom homes with special design features such as oversized balconies and the last word in finish and fittings. " We were pouring the transfer floor when Ritz- Carlton got involved- and we're talking about a very dynamic and involved partner here," says Jason Hodges, senior project manager. " By any precedent, this was an intervention very late in the game." It was definitely not something you'd expect, but Brasfield & Gorrie didn't break step, even though there were major design changes from that point, says Hodges. " We were already forming the first level of that residential phase, so it was a challenge. Work has nevertheless been able to continue with Brasfield & Gorrie LLC I f the South does indeed rise again, Brasfield & Gorrie will have something to do with it. One of the leading construction companies in the Southeast, Brasfield & Gorrie builds high- rises and hotels, bridges and churches, hospitals and malls. Other projects include industrial plants, water and wastewater treatment facilities and schools. Commercial and industrial construction together account for most of its $ 2 billion annual revenues, and the company is a leading healthcare facilities contractor and provides general contracting, design/ build, and construction management services. Founded in 1922 by Thomas C. Brasfield, the company was sold to present owner, chairman and CEO Miller Gorrie in 1964. The 3630 Peachtree project might look like a bread- and-butter project for a contractor that has already built some of the most imposing buildings in the South, such as the 30- story BellSouth Telecommunications Tennessee Headquarters in Nashville and the 32- floor Regions Harbert Plaza in Birmingham, Alabama. When you browse its portfolio, Brasfield & Gorrie seems to have had a hand in most of the recent development around the town of Buckhead to the north of Atlanta. Buckhead is one of the wealthiest communities in the United States, with an average household income of over $ 340,000 a year, a fact worth noting, otherwise one might wonder if it mightn't be hard to let yet more premium offices and sell ultra-luxury accommodations ( at between $ 600,000 and $ 3 million) at a time of recession. However, 3630 Peachtree is due to be handed over to its owners at the end of this year, and though it's not his responsibility to worry about its future ( beyond a degree of commitment to monitor its performance and maintenance), Jason Hodges thinks it will only go part of the way toward satisfying demand in the " Beverly Hills of the South" and its smartest address, Peachtree Road. The building is a mixed- use development August 09 www. bus- ex. com 183
Brasfield & Gorrie LLC 184 www. bus- ex. com August 09 very little delay, accommodating design changes almost from day to day." Brasfi eld & Gorrie ranks as the top green builder in the Southeast, with more than 250 accredited professionals, so environmental performance is built into everything it does. However, this building is a little unusual in that some but not all of it is LEED certifi ed. This was another strategy change that came late in the game. " We were well into construction when the offi ce owners decided that they really wanted a green building and to go for LEED certifi cation. Because we try to incorporate green building into our everyday operations, we had no problem accommodating that for the offi ce portion," says Hodges. While it was sometimes diffi cult, for the purpose of certifi cation, to apportion which parts of the building were uniquely residential and which uniquely commercial and how to describe the shared services, this was not an insurmountable challenge, just a complication of the notoriously involved paper trail demanded by LEED. Hodges is expecting to turn over the offi ces for occupancy by the end of August, together with all the reception, parking and other common areas of the building, though work on the upper residential levels will continue. This is because even now the redesign work on the public areas is ongoing. " We're shooting for the end of this year to turn over most of the residential units as well as the amenity areas like the pool, the club rooms, the lobby and the fi tness center." The fortunate residents, in addition to interiors by Southeast Designer of the Year Bob Brown, will enjoy 24- hour concierge, porter and valet services, as well as in- home luxuries such as spa, housekeeping and gourmet meal preparation. They will probably never give a thought to the project management put into the building by Brasfi eld & Gorrie; when all is said and done, it's all part of the service.