The City of College Park on Wednesday unveiled plans for a new affordable housing and arts community known as The Diamond @ College Park, coming soon to the heart of downtown Main Street in partnership with the First United Methodist Church (FUMC). Including up to 14 townhomes, 18 lofts, retail space, and 61 housing units with a mix of affordable, market, and above market options, the community will be adjacent to the 125-year old church. Renovations on FUMC have begun, while the first of three other construction phases are slated to begin this fall.
“Equity and inclusion are two of the pillars upon which we are building the community we deserve in College Park. The Diamond @ College Park development is a step forward in the right direction,” College Park Mayor Bianca Motley Broom said in a press release Wednesday. “I am looking forward to creating more residential options in the heart of our city that align with our Transit Oriented Development plan. To do so in conjunction with the College Park First United Methodist Church–a mainstay in our city for over 125 years–makes the project even better. We are engaged in a relationship with a known and trusted neighbor that will benefit our community for generations to come.”
Planning, aesthetic design, and construction will predominantly be executed by College Park FUMC, with ancillary support from development teams at CSMI and Goodplaces. Townhome construction on Washington Street is set to be the first full build, following the demolition of the nearby parsonage this fall. Following the townhomes, construction will begin on live and work lofts on Harvard Street, geared toward an artist-targeted audience, in the education building with retail on the floor below. The final phase, likely beginning construction in 2021, is the 61-unit housing community, set on the parking lot currently leased to MARTA by FUMC with event and retail space on the ground level.
“While the world was on hold this spring, one idea was gaining momentum: a concern to address what the pandemic has exposed: the inequalities that exist among us,” Stuart Gulley, president of Woodward Academy and Chair of Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance Board, and a FUMC member said. “The Diamond @ College Park attempts to redress our society’s inequalities by offering affordable housing downtown.”
Renderings are still in the works.
[Editor’s note: this article was updated Sept. 3 to clarify MARTA’s connection to the parking lot where the project’s final phase will rise. A correction to the mix of housing options was all made.]