ATLANTA (March 6, 2009) - 12th & Midtown, the four-block megaproject being developed by Daniel Corp. and Selig Enterprises took home the top award in Atlanta Business Chronicle's Best in Atlanta Real Estate 2009 awards. Daniel and Selig, along with financiers MetLife, Canyon-Johnson and others, are transforming Midtown's former "Hippie District" into a true live-work-play-eat-and-shop megaproject.
The billion-dollar-plus development is transforming the west and east sides of Peachtree Street between 11th and 13th streets, and for it success to date, it won the "Best Overall" category at the awards show. Best in Atlanta Real Estate was held Thursday evening at the Fox Theatre about 10 blocks south of 12th & Midtown. (Edelman represents Daniel on the 12th & Midtown project, and we had no influential over the selection process.)
Other winners included Newmark Knight Frank, which won Office Deal of the Year for its role in First Data Corp.'s 184,000-square-foot lease at Glenridge Highlands II and Jacoby Development Inc., which won Land Deal of the Year for its purchase of the shuttered Ford plant in Hapeville, Ga.
Jacoby, which made its name redeveloping a former steel plant in Atlanta, plans to build a mixed-use development at the 122-acre Ford site. It will be called Aerotropolis Atlanta because of its proximity to Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Jacoby Development Chairman and CEO Jim Jacoby was honored with the ABC's Visionary Award, earned mostly for his ability to have envisioned the Atlantic Steel site along the Downtown Connector as the mini-city that exists today.
Jacoby gave a short-and-sweet speech, but it was the Two Steves (Steve Baile of Daniel and Steve Selig of Selig) who stole the show, which was deftly emceed by Atlanta Business Chronicle columnist Maria Saporta. Saporta earned her reputation as the go-to business reporter at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution before the AJC began reducing its staff and buying out some of its best reporters.
During his part of the acceptance speech, Steve Selig harkened back to the 1960s and early '70s "when this part of Atlanta (Midtown) was the Hippie District." Selig, whose family has owned large swaths of Midtown and Buckhead, said he recalled the days when headshops in Midtown could not pay rent in cash. So, they paid with "merchandise" instead. The shops sold waterbeds and "paraphernalia," which Selig did not describe specifically.
For his part, Steve Baile, cracked up the crowd when he commented on the decision to serve salad before the show and make guests wait till after to get to the meat, fish and potatoes. Baile said several people had come in for the award show such as Daniel Corp. Chairman and CEO Charlie Tickle, who made the trip from Birmingham and walked away with tickets to the Fleetwood Mac concert at Philips Arena. But Magic Johnson and other execs from Canyon-Johnson did not travel from California for the big night.
"It's a long trip to come for a salad," Bailed quipped before noting that Daniel is proud to be part of a project such as 12th & Midtown. Selig agreed.
"To change the face of Atlanta is quite an honor," Selig told the crowd of nearly 500.