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CASE STUDY

Preserving a Part of History in the City of Atlanta

Constructed in the heart of the Martin Luther King historical district, 200 Edgewood was held to the same standards of the area, which ensures that all developments and construction of projects preserve the environmental character and physical appearance from the lifetime of Dr. Martin Luther King.  As the chosen contractor, this meant Shell McElroy had to work delicately within the parameters set to honor this piece of Atlanta history.

Haverty's Furniture Store in 1974

The team set forth to honor these standards on two of the buildings – one was the old Haverty’s furniture store and the other being the Boy’s Branch of the Butler YMCA. The existing structures dated back to the 1940’s and had to be carefully partially demolished to create the needed square footage for the new development while the edifices of both buildings had to remain intact and be restored to their original facades. This meant the brick and windows had to be restored and/or replaced. Since the project resided in this historical district, the design of the structure had to also meet certain criteria such as fire-retardant capabilities, height restrictions, and other aesthetic requirements. In addition to the normal construction permitting process, all materials and work on the elevations had to be approved by the City of Atlanta’s Urban Design Commission before any permits were obtained, which meant considerable due diligence on behalf of the Owner, Design Team, and Shell McElroy to find the appropriate specialty contractors and vendors to meet the requirements within the defined budget and timeline allotted.

Like all student housing developments, schedule is a driving factor of the success of the project and this project was no exception with a hard deadline for the completion of the project prior to the commencement of the school year. Keeping in mind the various approvals required by the City and the proximity of the street car, the Shell McElroy team collaborated closely to accelerate the design and permitting process. Using this approach, the contracting team was able to ensure the historical elements of the project were restored appropriately according to the City and in a way that allowed the Owner to achieve their goals for the project.

Ultimately, the Shell McElroy team demonstrated to the City of Atlanta its ability to work within the confines of the Atlanta Street Car and the challenges of construction in the MLK District and established themselves as a contractor driven by partnership.