Urban planners often use the term “gateway” when discussing emerging mixed-use districts. Industry jargon, true, but it also sounds cool.
On The Gulch’s north side, that gateway is at Charlotte and 11th avenues — home to the crumbling Polar Cold Storage Building.
After years of locals pondering the property’s reinvention options — a convention center, a Sounds ballpark and a light-rail transit station — the site is now slated for a practical, albeit predictable, option: the two-building Eleven North residential complex.
Development team TriBridge Residential LLC and Stonehenge DCM recently bought the site from Giarratana Development for $4.5 million. The Atlanta-based TriBridge co-developed downtown’s The Cumberland with Tony Giarratana. It’s ready to roll on construction of the 302-unit Eleven North, with Mr. Polar to be demolished.
Disappointingly, TriBridge — whose most distinctive urban infill project is M Street Apartments near Atlanta’s Atlantic Station — has no rendering for Eleven North. Lee Walker, TriBridge managing partner, said Eleven North will combine brick, Hardie siding, stucco and metal panels. They’re still working out the color scheme, he added.
The site does not fall within a Metro redevelopment district, so Virginia-based Poole & Poole Architecture has design flexibility. Given the firm’s reserved aesthetic, don’t expect Eleven North to follow an industrial theme like the Gulch’s Mercury View Lofts. Instead, EN’s exterior likely will mimic another Gulch member, the moderately adventurous Velocity.
Eleven North’s two four-story buildings will address 11th Avenue and have concealed parking. Building Two should open in spring 2012, and its south façade will be a mere 30 feet from the Church Street viaduct. With a rooftop garden and standing roughly 40 feet tall, the structure should strike a commanding presence both at street level and to those walking, biking or driving the viaduct.
Building One should be completed in fall 2012, with its main entrance (and glass-encased interior lounge) straddling the intersection’s southeast corner and lending an entrance-to-The-Gulch vibe.