Oct 6, 2021 - Real Estate

Keeping Atlanta's west side affordable

Screenshot showing where new homes will be constructed near Westside Park in Atlanta.

Screenshot: Invest Atlanta

New affordable housing options are coming to three neighborhoods in northwest Atlanta.

Why it matters: Invest Atlanta, the city's economic development arm, said the project is unique because β€œfor-sale affordability can be difficult to create and preserve.”

Details: A $2.6 million forgivable loan will be used to acquire and build new housing in the Almond Park, Carey Park and Grove Park neighborhoods, Invest Atlanta said in a news release.

  • The homes will be built on 11.5 acres and offer a mix of 55 for-sale and 10 for-rent residences, including single-family houses, duplexes and accessory dwelling units (smaller living spaces that have their own kitchen, bathroom and bedroom).
  • Documents shared by Invest Atlanta and reviewed by Axios show construction will last about 18 months and should wrap up by 2023.

The homes will be located in the Hollywood Road area near Westside Park, Atlanta's newest and largest park.

What they are saying: Gavin McGuire, the incoming executive director of the Grove Park Foundation, said Invest Atlanta's initiative aligns with the organization's goal of equity, providing access to affordable housing and improved quality of life.

  • "Homeownership is the key component of legacy wealth building and sustaining families,” he said.
Site plan where new homes will be constructed near Westside Park in Atlanta
Screenshot: Invest Atlanta

Context: Atlanta's west side has been under the microscope since January, when Microsoft announced it would build a new data center region at the Quarry Yards development.

The construction of the park and increased attention by developers led Grove Park residents to express concerns to city officials about being displaced from their homes, Invest Atlanta public relations manager Katrice Mines told Axios Atlanta.

  • The average home value in Grove Park grew 29% between August 2020 and August 2021 to $253,830, Zillow notes.

Mines said the Westside Equitable Task Force was created so that "we could begin to collaborate and to strategize to figure out ways that we can advertise anti-displacement efforts."

The Atlanta City Council in March passed an ordinance to require any future residential development to set aside affordable housing in neighborhoods around the new park.

Our thought bubble: With the opening of Westside Park, it is inevitable that people and companies will flock to the neighborhoods on this side of town.

  • Any redevelopment that follows should not happen at the expense of longtime Atlanta residents whose roots in these neighborhoods stretch back decades.

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