At the April 2018 monthly meeting, the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors approved the creation of a $150,000 Westside TAD Community Builders Pre-Development Fund.
Invest Atlanta launched the Community Builders program October 2017 to train Westside resident property owners and other community stakeholders in core property redevelopment skills. The six-month training concluded with final project presentations in March 2018.
“Everyone I spoke to said the program was really valuable and taught them so much,” Dr. Klementich said of the Community Builders participants. “They feel encouraged about moving their projects forward.”
As a next step to assisting participants, Invest Atlanta will now take on a more well-rounded support process by providing graduates with grants for eligible pre-development expenses.
The fund will award grants of up to $15,000 for eligible pre-development expenses, such as site inspection, environmental assessments, and permitting. Awardees will have to provide 20% of the pre-development costs and have a clear plan for post-development operations of the project. They also must successfully complete the new Community Builders training program and have ownership or site control of the project property.
“Not only are we really excited about bringing in new development, but especially because we are supporting it organically within the Westside neighborhoods,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “The Community Builders program and this new fund will support residents who want to develop properties within their communities.”
Both the Community Builders pilot training program and Pre-Development Fund are funded through the Westside TAD and meet Invest Atlanta’s larger goals in the Westside neighborhoods of Vine City, English Avenue, and portions of Castleberry Hill. By helping participants develop core property redevelopment skills, while also providing up-front capital for their projects, this effort builds community capacity for revitalization efforts, helps retain existing residents, and improves the overall quality of life in the community.