Mixed-Use Development Across Street from Penitentiary Files for Commercial Land Development Permit

The infill development has been approved for plans for 9 townhomes and 1 mixed-use unit
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The Chosewood Park and Benteen Neighborhoods continues to attract infill, mixed-use development, particularly along the McDonough Boulevard corridor. Owners of 614 McDonough, a multi-lot development site just across the street from the United States Penitentiary Atlanta Complex entrance, filed for a Commercial Land Development Permit yesterday, August 4th, 2021. The permit is for site work related to the development of a new building, including parking, sidewalks, and associated infrastructure. The sitework is expected to cost $30,000 for a 13,653 SF site.

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According to property records, the lot was sold to Intown Consulting Group in March of 2018 for $182,00. In 2019, a demolition permit was issued for the site to demolish the existing single-family structure at the cost of $10,800. As of March 2020, a for sale sign was posted on the property advertising a development opportunity for a 24 unit apartment building with 36 parking spaces, however the project appears to have moved forward with slightly scaled-back plans.

As of the time of this article, Intown Consulting Group lists the property on their website as a “Property for Developers” with an approved plan for 9 residential units and 1 mixed-use unit. The group projects a net operating income of $190,000, with a total property valuation of $2,794,000. Despite still being listed as active on their website, the property may have found a developer as the application for the sitework indicates that a building permit application is forthcoming. The approved plans depict 9 street-facing townhomes with 19 parking spaces in the rear. The project was granted a BZA Special Exception earlier this year to reduce the required off-street parking spaces from 24 to 17.

The project is located on the north side of McDonough Boulevard, between Boulevard SE and Benteen Avenue. Its within walking distance of the Southside BeltLine Trail, as well as Chosewood Neighborhood Park and future mixed-use developments near Sawtell Avenue and McDonough. The residences would look directly out at the United States Penitentiary Building, an over 120-year-old Romanesque prison that still houses over 1,000 inmates. The prison has housed a number of famous inmates over the years, including Al Capone, Eugene Debs and Marcus Garvey.

Update: a previous version of this article indicated the development is located in the Chosewood Park neighborhood. Residents have contested that in fact the project is technically within the Benteen Neighborhood. We have updated the article to reflect the feedback.

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Photo: Google Street View
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Site Plan: Intown Consulting Group

Daniel Alvarado

Daniel Alvarado is an AICP Certified Urban Planner, transportation advocate, researcher and writer originally from San Antonio, Texas. He received his Master's Degree in Community and Regional Planning from the University of Texas at Austin, where his research focused on the intersection of green infrastructure and transportation. Daniel has been published by Decipher City, Progrss.org, and has contributed to dozens of comprehensive and transportation plans across the country.

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