real estate

[Renderings] Atlanta Housing Authority Advances Herndon Square Redevelopment

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[Renderings] Atlanta Housing Authority Advances Herndon Square Redevelopment

The $150MM project, slated to break ground this year, will be the pilot for the agency's anti-displacement policy.

The former Herndon Homes site, at 485 John Street NW, later this year will be redeveloped into Herndon Square — a $150 million mixed-use affordable housing project.

The Atlanta Housing Authority Board of Commissioners recently authorized the Atlanta Housing Authority to partner with the team of Hunt and Oakwood Development Group to redevelop the 12.3-acre site.

Once complete, Herndon Square will offer 700 units105 of which are designated as 100 percent affordable for seniors. Approximately 40 percent of the remaining 595 units will be designated as "affordable."

"Not only will it be an architecturally distinct, sustainable community, but it will focus on the history of the area while incorporating technology and innovation," according to the project's marketing materials.

"Surrounded by open green spaces, the neighborhood will feature retail centers, as well as an urban format grocery store. Other amenities include fitness areas, outdoor play spaces, and a large community center."

Herndon Square will be built in five phases and is expected to be complete by December 2021.

Herndon Square Rendering 1
Rendering: Official
Herndon Square Rendering 2
Rendering: Official

Herndon Square

485 John St NW, Atlanta, GA 30318
Caleb J. Spivak
Caleb Spivak

Caleb J. Spivak (CJS) is the Founder of What Now Atlanta (WNA). He was featured in The New York Times, Creative Loafing's "20 People to Watch," named "Lifestyle Blogger You Need To Know" by Rolling Out Magazine and highlighted as Atlanta's Metropolitan Male in fashion magazine, 944. WNA has been named "Best of Atlanta" by Creative Loafing, and Atlanta and Jezebel Magazines.

3 responses to “[Renderings] Atlanta Housing Authority Advances Herndon Square Redevelopment

  1. Back to the housing projects. Somehow people never seem to learn and always think THEY have the ability to make bad old ideas work. In ten years (or less time), it'll be uninhabitable.

    1. @Ken, the Affordable Workforce Housing Initiative has been designed specifically to avoid the pitfalls of previous low-income housing projects. Nobody can predict if they are going to do it right, but with attitudes like yours, we sure won't get anywhere. Some of the differences between this project and previous "low-income housing projects" are:

      * These units will be mostly regular-priced (meaning expensive) units that will appeal to new buyers. Previous projects were designed for all low-income units and suffered from the problem you mention.

      * With Atlanta's severe lack of "affordable housing", teachers, police officers, government workers who are decent, wage-earning people are being forced out of the city. By ensuring that these people will have a place to live inside the city where their rent is guaranteed not to exceed a defined percentage of their salary, they can ensure the highest quality of applicants rather than just whomever the Housing Authority assigns to them. Previously, the Housing Authority would indiscriminately assign low-income or no-income residents by subsidizing their rent. This did not sponsor a feeling of "home" or establish a value worth maintaining.

      * While previous housing projects were in areas that did not have access to common resources like grocery stores or entertainment or retail because they were completely populated by high-density, government subsidized, short-term requirement (15 years then torn down to make way for expensive units without affordable requirements) and were surrounded by liquor stores and check-cashing outlets. This development solves these problems by providing a grocery, retail, entertainment, and fitness facilities and it is located in a great space close to Marta and everything you would need to live happily in Downtown Atlanta.

      * Previous projects were established in depressed areas of town where there was no incentive for residents to maintain their spaces. They were grouped together in crappy neighborhoods with no resources and expected to give a rat's hindquarters about the dump they lived in. The developments were poorly built, had terrible amenities, and were barely livable to start. This development is right in downtown, near the Georgia Aquarium, Georgia Tech, Coca-Cola, etc. It's a nice neighborhood with good neighbors that will inspire residents to care more about their living situation.

      *And because these are mixed units where some are "affordable" and some are not, there won't be the depressing influence of living in a ghetto where people are forgotten.

      While this may not be the best solution ever, it is sure as hell nothing like our previous failed attempts to deal with low-income citizens. These are not low-income, government subsidized housing, but "affordable" working wage housing designed to ensure that those making 60-80% of the current average wage in Atlanta will continue to have a place in the city to call home.

      I encourage you to reconsider your bad attitude about this place and speak up if you have a better solution.

  2. I totally agree with you Jason Burnett. I have high hopes for these units. I believe that the mixed income, the close vicinity to shopping will attract a good group of people. As with any rentals, potential residents need to be checked out in order to avoid any who have had serious rental issues in the past. This plan here is a winner!

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