City-backed nonprofit to convert office building, mall to residential

Atlanta Urban Development Corporation to take over 41 Marietta, where Wolfe Investments and Bluelofts previously planned resi conversion

Atlanta Nonprofit Plots Mixed-Income Housing Across City
Atlanta Urban Development’s John Majors with 41 Marietta Street (LinkedIn, Google Maps, Getty)

A city-backed nonprofit is working to finalize more than a dozen deals for mixed-income housing projects across Atlanta, several of which would repurpose well-known properties in the city.

Atlanta Urban Development Corporation is in advanced talks regarding the projects, with the Mall West End and the 41 Marietta office building at the center of negotiations, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported. Financial details and specific plans for the properties are unclear. 

“Both of these transactions are very different, but both are very exciting in terms of the opportunity to introduce additional affordability into the city of Atlanta,” John Majors, CEO of the development corporation, told the outlet.

41 Marietta’s previous owners, a joint venture of Dallas-based Wolfe Investments and Bluelofts, had been planning to convert the 135,000 square-foot building into 120 apartments. However, Arbor Realty Trust moved to foreclose on the downtown property in April after the firms defaulted on a $20 million loan. It’s unclear how much progress the developers had made at the time of the foreclosure notice.

An auction sale was scheduled for May 7. It was initially reported that Arbor would be seeking a developer to complete the conversion project.

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The Mall West End, located near MARTA’s West End station, has been the focus of several redevelopment attempts. Last year, The Prusik Group abandoned plans to transform the mall into a mixed-use district after negotiations with city officials failed. Prior to that, Tishman Speyer withdrew from a deal that would have converted the site into a tech hub with affordable housing and greenspace.

Atlanta officials launched the Atlanta Urban Development Corporation last year with the goal of repurposing publicly owned land for housing and amenities. By collaborating with private developers, the development corporation aims to integrate market-rate units to subsidize affordable housing within its projects.

Several other development corporation initiatives are in the planning stages, including the transformation of a Midtown fire station into a mixed-income residential tower, and a housing development in Thomasville Heights. Those projects will be financed partially through low-interest loans from a revolving loan fund, an alternative to tax credits which have become harder to obtain.

The Atlanta Urban Development Corporation’s strategy involves setting aside 70 percent of units in each project for households earning up to 140 percent of the area median income, translating to $2,985 per month. In addition, 20 percent of units would be earmarked as affordable for households earning 50 percent AMI, or $1,008 per month, and the remaining units for those earning 80 percent AMI, or $1,613 per month.

—Quinn Donoghue 

Read more

“God-size” Affordable Housing Project Underway In ATL
“God-size vision” for affordable housing takes shape in Atlanta 
Arbor Realty Trust to Foreclose on Wolfe, Bluelofts in Atlanta
Wolfe, Bluelofts face $20M foreclosure on office-to-resi deal
Atlanta Looks to Repurpose Land to Address Housing Needs
Atlanta looks to repurpose land for housing 
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