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Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) this week celebrated the ribbon cutting and grand opening of Parkside, a 100 percent affordable housing community on the Westside from Prestwick Development Company.
Appearing with Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens, Invest Atlanta’s Dr. Eloisa Klementich, Atlanta City Councilmember Dustin Hillis, and executives from Prestwick Company, ABI President and CEO Clyde Higgs said, “At the end of the day, it’s about the people. This brick and metal and wood that you see is just a conduit for outcomes that we want. When you think about the BeltLine vision, this represents what we’re trying to do: access to jobs, transportation options, affordable housing, arts and culture, access to greenspace. It really is all about collaboration of all our partners to get this done.”
Parkside, located at 1314 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway in the Bankhead/Historic Westin Heights neighborhood, is located within the BeltLine Tax Allocation District (TAD) and received a $2 million contribution from the BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund.
Prestwick Development Company, the developer, also received a $3 million tax-exempt loan from Invest Atlanta, low-income housing tax credits from the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, and additional financing through Enterprise Community Partners, Sugar Creek Capital and Bellwether Enterprise.
“As the city of Atlanta continues to grow, we need to remind ourselves of one important pillar for growth – creating strong, thriving communities for all,” Dr. Eloisa Klementich, president and CEO of Invest Atlanta, said. “Building stronger communities requires coordinated community development strategies focusing on housing as well as employment, small business development, educational facilities, greenspace, and other areas of need. Parkside is another great example of partners coming together and creating an asset to help this community prosper.”
Parkside is one block from the Bankhead MARTA station and Maddox Park. Located on Proctor Creek, it also offers easy access to the Proctor Creek Greenway, which starts by the MARTA station.
All 182 units are dedicated to affordable housing units at the following levels of Area Median Income (AMI): 57 units at 50 percent AMI, 96 units at 60 percent AMI, and 29 units at 70 percent AMI.
The new apartments include one-, two-, and three-bedroom options with open floor plans. The complex includes a wellness/fitness center, business center, conference center, and multiple community spaces.
“While not a housing agency, ABI works with multiple partners to achieve affordable housing goals and provides capital to development projects like Parkside that create and preserve affordable housing and commercial affordability within the BeltLine TAD,” according to a press release. In partnership with Invest Atlanta, ABI administers the Atlanta BeltLine Affordable Housing Trust Fund (BAHTF) and the BeltLine TAD excess increment fund. The TAD is a financing tool that is projected to cover approximately a third of the costs to build out the Atlanta BeltLine with excess committed to affordable housing.
Just south of Parkside, located on Proctor Creek, is a 31-acre site on Chappell Road purchased by ABI in 2021. By owning land, ABI will guide thoughtful development with affordability for residents and small businesses.
Nearby, Westside Trail — Segment 3 is under construction and nearing completion while Westside Trail — Segment 4 is at 60 percent design. The Westside BeltLine Connector, leading into downtown, opened last year.
To date, ABI has partnered with organizations to create or preserve 3,100 affordable units within the TAD. In the broader BeltLine Planning Area, a total of 4,755 affordable units have been created or preserved within walking distance of the Atlanta BeltLine. ABI already has exceeded its annual goal in 2022, set forth as 320 affordable units for the year, with 373 units created or preserved, thanks in part to the City of Atlanta’s Inclusionary Zoning ordinance. The legislation, sponsored by then Councilmember Andre Dickens, now Atlanta’s mayor, and championed by other city leadership, went into effect in January 2018.
ABI, in conjunction with Atlanta BeltLine Partnership (ABP), also administers the Legacy Resident Retention Program (LRRP). This program provides financial assistance through 2030 to cover property tax increases for qualifying homeowners financially burdened by property tax increases.