Invest Atlanta recently announced the creation of a $15 million transit-oriented development (TOD) fund. This $15 million pilot fund will provide below-market, patient capital to support the acquisition and pre-development of workforce housing near MARTA stations, the Atlanta Streetcar, the Atlanta BeltLine and other modes of transit. The fund will include $4.5 million of City of Atlanta Housing Opportunity Bond financing with an additional $10.5 million from Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Low Income Investment Fund.
“Every day, about 70 percent of our region commutes to a different county for work, which affects the productivity and economic output of our workforce,” said Dr. Eloisa Klementich, President and CEO of Invest Atlanta. “Lowering a worker’s commute time by just one hour per week can effectively increase that worker’s wages by almost $1,000 annually. If we can achieve this with just 20 percent of our workforce through investments like the transition-oriented development fund, we can inject an extra $460 million into our local economy.”
The $15 million in revolving funds will be used to provide low-interest loans to non-profit and for-profit affordable housing real estate developers. This financing structure will enable developers to access capital for TOD projects at a lower cost than traditional financing options. The projects supported through the pilot program will serve as case studies to attract additional sources of capital to the fund in the future. Enterprise Community Loan Fund and Low Income Investment Fund have implemented similar funding mechanisms in other areas, including the San Francisco Bay Area, Seattle/Puget Sound and Denver.
The recent approval of the final More MARTA plan will make Atlanta a more transit-oriented city. By creating more affordable living options near transit with direct accessibility to major employment centers, the TOD Fund will provide greater economic opportunity for more residents across the city.
Some recent transit-oriented developments supported by the City of Atlanta through Invest Atlanta include:
- King Memorial MARTA TOD: A 385-unit modular multifamily community at the King Memorial MARTA station with 93 units income-restricted to households earning 80 percent of the area median income (AMI). The project included a $6 million Eastside Tax Allocation District (TAD) grant through Invest Atlanta to Place Properties to support the $64.5 million development.
- Edgewood-Candler Park MARTA TOD: A mixed-use development near the Edgewood-Candler Park MARTA Station with retail and 224 apartments, 34 of which are designated as workforce housing. Financing for the project included a $42.9 million lease-purchase bond transaction approved by the Invest Atlanta board.
- 161 Peachtree: A 14-story, 345-unit residential tower at 161 Peachtree Center Avenue in Downtown Atlanta. Seventy units will be set aside for affordable workforce housing. The project included a $9 million Eastside TAD grant.
- The Avery at Underground: A 4-story, 180-unit multifamily workforce housing development to be developed at Underground with access to MARTA’s Five Points station. The project received a $3.6 million Eastside TAD grant.