At their July meeting, the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors authorized seven Eastside TAD grants totaling $27.4 million. Once finalized, this funding will support projects that honor Atlanta’s past through the rehabilitation of key historic assets, while also strengthening the city’s economy for the future. In total, the seven projects these grants support will create 3,456 new full-time jobs, attract $486.7 million in investment, and have an estimated economic impact of $694.3 million.
Several of the grants will be used to renovate key historic buildings—including the 90-year-old Medical Arts Building and the 127-year-old historic home of Alexander Hamilton, Jr.—and bring them into higher and better use. Others focus on attracting new investment and development to areas like Underground Atlanta and South Downtown.
“A lot of very hard, deliberate work has been done, piece by piece,” said Mayor Kasim Reed, who led the meeting in his role as Board Chair. “We’re just staying at it.”
Below is an overview of the economic benefits these projects provide, along with a brief description of each.
Medical Arts Building: This Beaux-Arts style office building designed by G. Lloyd Preacher, the architect of Atlanta City Hall, is on the National Register of Historic places. The historic preservation of this vacant property will reactivate 85,000 square-feet of Downtown space.
135 Auburn Avenue: Gene Kansas Commercial Real Estate will renovate the second floor and exterior of the building into 9,500 square-feet of office space for small businesses, entrepreneurs, and non-profits. “This is one of the projects I’m excited about,” Board Vice-Chair Constance Barkley-Lewis said at the meeting. “I think this will a huge impact on improving an area that arguably should be the number one priority because it really is the heartbeat, the soul of Atlanta.”
Underground Atlanta Retail and Office Development: An Eastside TAD grant will support the development of 325,000 square-feet of retail space that will include an anchor grocery store, as well as 25,230 square-feet of office space. Councilmember Cleta Winslow, who represents the area surrounding Underground, spoke in support of the project at the board meeting. “This is a very exciting moment for us,” she said. “I’m looking forward to the future positive development of this area.”
The Hamilton Howell House: With the help of the $100,000 Eastside TAD grant, Mtamanika Youngblood will renovate and convert the historic home of Alexander Hamilton Jr. into a bed and breakfast that will promote cultural tourism and historic preservation within the Sweet Auburn community. “This is a prime example of providing moneys to support folks in the community,” said Board Treasurer Randy Hazelton.
The Avery at Underground Atlanta: This $36.7 million, 4-story workforce multifamily development will sit within the heart of Underground Atlanta. Of the 180 total units, 150 (83%) will be income restricted to households earning 60% AMI or below and 30 units (17%) will be market-rate units targeted at households earning 80%-120% of AMI.
Newport South Downtown Redevelopment: The board approved an $8 million Eastside TAD grant to Newport U.S. RE to renovate and adaptively reuse 38 buildings in South Downtown into a vibrant mixed-income, mixed-use neighborhood. The development will include 52 residential units, 11 of which will be targeted to households earning 80% AMI. The overall project is estimated to create 2,300 new permanent jobs and have an economic impact of $260 million.
King Memorial MARTA Transit-Oriented Development (TOD): The board approved a $6 million Eastside TAD grant to Place Properties to support the development of a $64.5 million, 385-unit modular multifamily community at the King Memorial MARTA station. Twenty-five percent of the units, or 93, will be income-restricted to households earning 80% AMI.