When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms struck a nearly $2 billion incentives package with a Los Angeles-based developer to develop a mixed-use mini-city in Downtown’s “Gulch” called Centennial Yards, the company promised tens of millions of dollars in return to combat inequity.
- Yesterday, that developer literally handed Bottoms a $33.5 million check — and the Mayor knows how she wants to spend it.
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 “for-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.
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.
Homeownership and the suburbs may not go hand-in-hand as they once did.
The number of people renting homes in several metro Atlanta suburbs grew in the last decade, according to Rentcafe.com.
Why it matters: Experts say the increase in the number of suburban renters stems from the 2008 Great Recession when many people, particularly Black residents, lost their homes to foreclosures.
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