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Former Army Base in south Atlanta proposed as 4-million-square-foot project

A massive plan to redevelop a former Army Base in south Atlanta is moving forward.

Atlanta real estate company Macauley Investments on Wednesday filed plans with the state to transform 145 acres of Fort McPherson into a mixed-use project totaling about four million square feet.

The development would include 525,000 square feet of office, a 600-student school, 235,000 square feet of retail, 46,000 square feet of restaurants, 100 hotel rooms and 2,800 residential units, according to plans filed with the state’s Department of Community Affairs through its DRI (or Development of Regional Impact) program.

The plan also includes a pedestrian and bicycle network, along with a new street grid that connects the former Army base with the surrounding area via Lee Street and Campbellton Road.

Stephen Macauley, principal of Macauley Investments, declined to comment about project, only saying the new plan is very different from previous ideas floated for Fort McPherson.

Fort McPherson officials last May selected Macauley Investments as its master developer.

The firm was tasked with creating a master plan, using an existing Livable Centers Initiative study for Fort Mac as a guideline, officials said. That study called for the redevelopment to feature greenspace, arts and entertainment spaces, medical offices, and both affordable and market-rate housing.

“We believe we can turn Fort Mac into a destination for entertainment, film, gaming and music,” Macauley told Atlanta Business Chronicle in an interview last year. “We also want to find a way to feature the performing and visual arts, along with [attracting] technology companies. All these things can come together.”

Fort McPherson was targeted for closure in 2005, as part of a nationwide series of base closings recommended by the Pentagon and approved by Congress.

The property was formally turned over to civilian control in 2011.

In 2015, Fort Mac officials approved a deal to sell 330 acres of the former base to producer and actor Tyler Perry. Now, Fort Mac LRA, the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, wants to redevelop the remaining property.

Fort Mac is seen as a complex but potentially intriguing development opportunity. One reason is its history.

It features about 70 buildings that could become part of the new redevelopment, including some that once housed Army personnel and date back to the late 1800s.

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