Building with Historical Past Seeking Approvals for Affordable Housing Renovations

Quest Community Development Organization seeking amended terms and financial commitments to redevelop a vacant building into affordable housing focus for homeless veterans and other at-risk occupants.
Source: Official
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Developer Quest Community Development Organization has submitted a request to Atlanta Housing for financial commitments and an amendment of prior project terms for the renovation of a historic building located 239 West Lake Avenue NW into a multifamily rental development providing supportive services for low-income residents.

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The Atlanta Housing Board of Directors will consider the request this week during the regular board meeting. Once approved, Quest will then submit an application for New Market Tax Credits for $7,745,023 to finance the historically relevant property.

According to Atlanta Housing documents, the 7.07-acre Heritage Village at West Lake project will convert the vacant five-story building into 102 one-bedroom units. In addition, Partners for Home and Fulton County are anticipated to occupy the first floor of the building for supportive care and services. The intended focus for tenants includes homeless veterans and young adults aging out of the foster care system who are at or below 60% AMI.

In May of 2020, the Atlanta Housing Board authorized the acquisition of the property, entered into a development agreement with Quest, provided a predevelopment loan and Home-Flex commitment for all the proposed units, and provided an option for a ground lease. In the recent past, Atlanta Housing received HUD approval to acquire the property for $3,850,000.

According to Resolution Reg-1, the revised terms and financial commitments include:

  • Amend the Board’s May 2020 authorization to acquire two (2) parcels totaling 7.07 acres, for a reduced purchase price of $3,850,000 at fair market value, to occur simultaneously with financial closing
  • Enter into a to-be-formed special purpose joint venture entity as a partner with the non-profit Quest Community Development Organization
  • Provide an option to ground lease the 7.07 acres for up to 65 years at a nominal payment of $10 per year
  • Provide a commitment for a second priority construction to permanent loan of MTW funds not to exceed $4,302,456
  • Submit a Mixed-Finance & Acquisition Development Proposal Application to HUD

Budget documents supplied to the Board indicate that the total costs associated with the redevelopment project are $29,884,408. In addition to the amended financial terms above, along with the New Market Tax Credits, the developer is seeking permanent financing in the form of a first priority mortgage and a Partners for Home Grant of $4,050,000.

According to the Digital Library of Georgia website, the property has an interesting and historically significant past, including the main building, which was built in 1951, known as the Waluhaje Apartments and Hotel, was part of the Motorist Green Book network of places for African Americans to lodge safely and hosted famous jazz acts. In 1967, Atlanta Job Corps acquired the building and operated it until 2017.

The renovation of the five-story building is anticipated to take 18 months.

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Source: Official

Dr. Anita Archambeau

Anita Archambeau, DPA AICP, is a freelance writer, adjunct professor, and consulting urban planner. She has over 25 years of community and economic development experience in local government. When she’s not working, you can find her exploring local craft breweries, walking her two beagles, or traveling to visit her adult children living in New York City and Minneapolis.

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1 Comment

  1. Please correct article, this is not in West End neighborhood. I think you mean the west side of Atlanta.

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