Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta)

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Bank of America Plaza
Bankofamerica-atlanta-feb09.jpg
Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) is located in Atlanta Midtown
Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta)
location relative to Midtown Atlanta
Former names NationsBank Building
C & S Plaza
General information
Type Commercial offices
Location 600 Peachtree Street NE
Atlanta, Georgia, United States
Coordinates 33°46′15″N 84°23′10″W / 33.7708°N 84.3861°W / 33.7708; -84.3861Coordinates: 33°46′15″N 84°23′10″W / 33.7708°N 84.3861°W / 33.7708; -84.3861
Construction started 1991
Completed 1992
Cost US$150 million
Owner CW Financial Services (sponsor)
Management Parkway Properties
Height
Architectural 317 m (1,040 ft)
Roof 284.3 m (933 ft)
Technical details
Floor count 55
Floor area 1,310,000 sq ft (122,000 m2)
Lifts/elevators 24
Design and construction
Architect Kevin Roche, John Dinkeloo and Associates
Structural engineer CBM Engineers Inc.
Newcomb & Boyd
Main contractor Beers Construction
Website
Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta)
References
[1][2][3][4][5]

Bank of America Plaza is a skyscraper located in between Midtown Atlanta and Downtown Atlanta, otherwise known as the SoNo district of Atlanta, Georgia. At 317 m (1,040 ft) the tower is the 60th-tallest building in the world. It is the 10th tallest building in the U.S.[6] and the tallest building in Georgia.[7] It is also the tallest building in any U.S. state capital, and the tallest building in the United States outside of Chicago and New York City. It has 55 stories of office space and was completed in 1992, when it was called NationsBank Plaza.[8] Originally intended to be the headquarters for Citizens & Southern National Bank (which merged with Sovran Bank during construction), it became NationsBank's property following its formation in the 1991 hostile takeover of C&S/Sovran by NCNB.[9]

As of 2014, the largest tenant is the law firm of Troutman Sanders.

Architectural details[edit]

The building was developed by Cousins Properties and designed by the architectural firm Kevin Roche John Dinkeloo and Associates LLC.[10] Designed in the Art Déco style and built in only 14 months, one of the fastest construction schedules for any 1,000 ft (300 m) building. The Plaza's imposing presence is heightened by the dark color of its exterior. It soars into the sky with vertical lines that reinforce its height while also creating an abundance of revenue-generating corner offices. Located over 3.7 acres (1.5 ha) on Peachtree Street, the tower faces its border streets at a 45-degree angle to maximize the views to the north and south (midtown and downtown).

There is a 90 ft (27 m) obelisk-like spire at the top of the building echoing the shape of the building as a whole. Most of the spire is covered in 23 karat (96 percent) gold leaf. The open-lattice steel pyramid underneath the obelisk glows yellow-orange at night due to lighting. Originally, the lattice was designed to be clad in glass, but the engineers failed to take the weight of the glass into account. At its most basic, this is a modern interpretation of the Art Deco theme seen in the Empire State Building and the Chrysler Building. The inhabited part of the building actually ends abruptly with a flat roof. On top of this is built a pyramid of girders, which are gilded and blaze at night, with the same type of yellow-orange high-pressure sodium (HPS) lighting now used in most street lights. Its design has been characterized as similar to the Messeturm in Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Some low-power TV stations have shared an antenna at the top of the building: WANN-LP 32, WANN-CD 29, and construction permits for WTBS-LP 26 and WTBS-LD 30. (These are two co-owned stations and their digital companions, all co-owned; the digital ones have moved or applied to move to the North Druid Hills site.) Also on the building was WDTA-LP 53, which moved about a half-mile (800m) south to the SunTrust Plaza, where it switched to digital TV in 2010. In addition, the tower also hosts several amateur radio repeaters.

Bank of America Plaza Atlanta is colloquially known as The Pencil Building due to its pencil-like shape,[11] or The Cigarette due to its illuminated top [12]).

Renovations and sustainable building initiative[edit]

As of 2014, the building is undergoing a $30 million renovations to the lobby, health club, and conference facility.[13] It is also in the process of becoming Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) compliant. The building and property management is named top 3 finalist of Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce E3 Liquid Assets Finalists.[14]

Building ownership[edit]

According to published reports in Commercial Property News and Commercial Mortgage Alert, the building was sold for $436 million – a record price at $348 per square foot ($3746 per square meter) – to BentleyForbes, a Los Angeles real estate investment firm headed by C. Frederick Wehba. That was offset by the tower's foreclosure in 2012 when LNR and lenders took the loan back from BentleyForbes for $235 million, half its peak price.

In 2013, CWCapital Asset Management, division of CW Financial Services, took over the asset management, sponsoring and representing the building's bond holders from LNR. Together with real estate services company Cushman & Wakefield and property manager Parkway Properties,[13] the building is undergoing capital improvements - a multi-million comeback that could top $30 million by 2018.

Urban design[edit]

The skyscraper, built at a 45-degree angle to the city's street grid, is set back off its eastern and western street boundaries, Peachtree Street and West Peachtree Street, by over 50 yards (45 m). This setback is filled, variously, by driveways, parking garage entrances, potted plants, granite staircases, and sloping lawns. The building directly abuts the sidewalk on North Avenue, its northern boundary, with access to this street through a parking garage entrance and stairs leading from the building's main lobby.

Some urban planners decry the building as a Corbusian "tower in a park", as it actively disengages itself from the urban environment surrounding it, entirely omitting sidewalk-facing retail space. Critics argue that the building encourages its tenants to access it primarily by car and to remain inside the complex during the day. However it is across the street from the MARTA-rail North Avenue station.

In recent years, developers have rumored that the land under the surrounding driveways and lawns may soon be ripe for redevelopment into low- and mid-rise mixed-use buildings with street-fronting uses as the area urbanizes and the value of land in Midtown Atlanta increases. As of 2014, new sidewalks, pavers, ADA ramps, pedestrian light-poles, improved tree wells, new bike racks and landscaping are in planning stages. These neighborhood improvements are slated to be completed by 2016 at a cost of $1.04 million.[15]

Gallery[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) at CTBUH Skyscraper Database
  2. ^ Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) at Emporis
  3. ^ Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) at Glass Steel and Stone
  4. ^ Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) at SkyscraperPage
  5. ^ Bank of America Plaza (Atlanta) at Structurae
  6. ^ Fernandez, Bob (21 January 2014). "Tallest between Manhattan and Chicago? An Atlanta peach". The Philadelphia Inquirer. 
  7. ^ "Bank of America Plaza Atlanta". Emporis. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  8. ^ Trubey, J. Scott (2012-02-08). "Bank of America Plaza becomes Atlanta's priciest repo". The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Retrieved 2012-07-05. 
  9. ^ Hayes, Thomas (1991-07-22). "Big Merger Of Banks Called Set". The New York Times. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  10. ^ "Bank of America Plaza". Cousins Properties Incorporated. Archived from the original on 2007-07-08. Retrieved 2007-09-28. 
  11. ^ "http://www.reddit.com/r/Atlanta/comments/16j2dx/anyone_know_a_way_to_get_to_the_top_of_the_pencil/"
  12. ^ "http://www.worldwizzy.com/learn/index.php/Bank_of_America_Plaza_%28Atlanta%29#Nicknames"
  13. ^ a b Sams, Douglas (17 January 2014). "BofA Plaza launches new strategy". Atlanta Business Chronicle. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  14. ^ "2014 E3 Awards". Metro Atlanta Chamber of Commerce. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 
  15. ^ "Construction to Kick Off for Peachtree Street SONO Project in 2014". Midtown Alliance. Retrieved 21 March 2014. 

External links[edit]

Records
Preceded by
U.S. Bank Tower (Los Angeles)
Tallest building in America outside of New York and Chicago
1992–present
Succeeded by
none