Famed Developer Portman looks back and ahead

By J. Scott Trubey – The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

It would be difficult to overstate architect and developer John Portman’s influence on downtown Atlanta.

His buildings make up a large part of the city’s skyline, from SunTrust Plaza to the Westin Peachtree Plaza to Peachtree Center. His companies have weathered real estate booms and busts. For the past few decades, much of the Portman empire’s work has been overseas, particularly in India and China.

But on Wednesday, Portman Holdings unveiled the redevelopment of one of its chairman’s early major projects “230 Peachtree. The downtown tower, the first office building in Peachtree Center, has been renovated with a 206-room Hotel Indigo and a high-end restaurant J.P. Atlanta on the lower floors.

Portman, 91, spoke with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution about coming back to one of his early professional landmarks, Atlanta’s future and the one project he’d still like to build here. The conversation is edited lightly for clarity and length.

Read the full Q & A here.