Developer named for Atlanta’s Fort McPherson

The agency steering the redevelopment of Fort McPherson has picked a master developer for a portion of the former military installation.

The McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority has selected a partnership led by Atlanta area developer and planner Stephen Macauley. Terms of the partnership were not immediately known, but Macauley Investments will be in charge of maintaining and reviving existing buildings, as well as for new development on a campus totaling about 145 acres.

“This firm’s entrepreneurial, visionary approach to developing award-winning mixed-use projects in emerging markets like ours gives us confidence they have the experience, enthusiasm and capability to accomplish great things in our community,” Brian Hooker, the redevelopment authority’s executive director, said Thursday in a news release.

Macauley is perhaps best known for suburban residential communities such as Harmony on the Lakes in Cherokee County.

One of his past firms, however, flamed out during the financial crisis when home sales plummeted resulting in a personal bankruptcy. Among the projects that faltered during the downturn was a mammoth luxury development in south Fulton County known as Le Jardin that included former Atlanta Braves slugger Brian Jordan as a top investor.

Since the recession, Macauley has reinvented business, pitching denser mixed-use projects in Doraville and Tucker.

Macauley did not immediately return a message seeking comment.

LINK: Tyler Perry: New studio won’t shut out neighbors

The selection of a new development team is a step forward for the former Army post, which was closed in 2011, and for years saw its future in limbo. But it’s no sure bet.

A prior master plan with a different development team, which called for a mix of residences and retail anchored by a technology and bio-science park, was scrapped when it failed to gain traction.

In June 2014, filmmaker Tyler Perry emerged as a suitor for most of the property, A year later, Perry closed on his purchase of 330 acres of the post for a sprawling new film and television studio. Officials with the redevelopment authority, also known as Fort Mac LRA, have said the Perry studio will deliver a jolt of jobs and investment not seen since the post’s closure.

The deal between the city, Perry and the Army also left the Fort Mac LRA with about 145 acres for future redevelopment.

The property offers tantalizing opportunities along MARTA, and the Beltline, and the property is a short drive or train ride to Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport. But redevelopment in the area also has been hampered by relatively low household incomes and a reputation for crime.

The agency conducted feasibility studies and engaged the community in a master planning exercise with the Atlanta Regional Commission known as a Livable Centers Initiative. Macauley is expected to design a master plan in keeping with the community study, which included plans for parks, arts and entertainment spaces and affordable and market-rate housing.

Officials also started food truck events and festivals to draw residents and business leaders from nearby neighborhoods onto the site.

The studies found the neighborhood could support additional retail and a possible grocery store when including expected demand from the Tyler Perry Studios campus and anticipated development along the Beltline.

The Veterans Administration also has medical facilities on the post.


AJC Business reporter J. Scott Trubey keeps you updated on the latest news about economic development and commercial real estate in metro Atlanta and beyond. You'll find more on, including these stories:

Never miss a minute of what's happening in local business news. Subscribe to

Reader Comments ...

Next Up in Local

Woman leading prayer faints during Facebook Live; audience calls for help
Woman leading prayer faints during Facebook Live; audience calls for help

An Atlanta woman might have died if she didn’t have an audience watching her when she fainted — while leading a prayer on Facebook Live. Francine Sims-Gates and her family now credit the social media website for saving her life, Channel 2 Action News reported. She was almost finished leading her daily prayer service when she suddenly felt...
Atlanta mayoral candidate Norwood releases 9 years of tax returns
Atlanta mayoral candidate Norwood releases 9 years of tax returns

Atlanta mayoral candidate Mary Norwood released nine years of her and her husband’s federal tax returns on Monday, arguing that an ongoing federal corruption investigation at Atlanta City Hall required greater transparency. Norwood is in the Dec. 5 runoff against Keisha Lance Bottoms, who said she was open to releasing her returns as well...
Cops: Restaurant employee said he was robbed — cameras tell another story
Cops: Restaurant employee said he was robbed — cameras tell another story

An Alpharetta restaurant worker is in jail after police said he lied about being robbed at gunpoint. They say he admitted to robbing the restaurant himself.  Police arrested Larry Wayne Parker after security footage showed he called 911 about an armed robbery that never happened, Channel 2 Action News reported.  “A guy with a motorcycle...
‘Political Rewind’ replay: The Atlanta constants of traffic and Confederate symbolism

Today’s edition of GPB’s “Political Rewind” began with a discussion of the expansion contemplated for I-285 and whether room should be reserved for a transit option. Not commuter rail itself, but a kind of reserved space – just in case we get around to it. Then there’s the topic of streets named for Confederate...
Spirit, spunk defined manager gunned down at popular Westside eatery
Spirit, spunk defined manager gunned down at popular Westside eatery

Sometimes it was pink. Other days, it was blue, green or somewhere in between. But no matter what color Chelsea Beller picked for her hair, it just suited her, according to friends. “For some reason, it seemed so natural on her,” a longtime friend said Monday. With her free-spirit and kind heart, Beller had a lively personality and ambitious...
More Stories