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Invest Atlanta announces funding for Westside projects

November 24,2014

via Atlanta INtown

by Collin Kelley

Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, has announced the approval of funding for several new projects within the Westside TAD (tax allocation district). The projects, which include development of a hotel, apartments, green space and community resource centers, are part of a continued effort to spur economic activity and create long-term job creation in neighborhoods surrounding the new multi-purpose stadium in Downtown Atlanta. The projects were approved for funding at Invest Atlanta’s monthly board meeting.

Of the $15 million previously designated for the Community Improvement Fund, more than $6 million was approved by the Invest Atlanta Board of Directors to support the development of community resource centers, housing, green space, property improvements and new retail opportunities. Invest Atlanta estimates that these grants will be leveraged over 400 percent, resulting in $27 million of new investment within the Vine City, English Avenue, and Castleberry Hill neighborhoods.

The largest of the grants, $3.4 million, was awarded to Quest Healthy Workforce, a 19,000 square foot community resource center that will serve as an adaptable space for workforce training, healthcare, education, and community space. Workforce development programs currently located at Westside Works are among the programs and organizations that may relocate their facilities to the new resource center.

The English Avenue School project, a former Atlanta Public Schools property being repurposed into a community center was awarded $1 million.

Historic Westside Village West Block Retail, proposed by H.J. Russell & Company, founded by recently deceased Atlanta visionary H.J. Russell, will receive $600,000 for development of a vacant parcel into a 21,000 square foot retail row. Potential tenants include retail, financial services, personal care, and dining options.

Additionally, a grant of $222,000 awarded to the Conservation Fund will go towards the conversion of blighted and vacant parcels into a 1-acre park that can be used for environmental education and storm water mitigation. The newly developed park will include a small stream, playground, nature trails, and an open lawn. It will be the first such park in English Avenue.

“Selection of these projects was done in a way that ensures the neighborhoods surrounding the new multi-purpose stadium will see a mix of various types of development,” said Courtney Knight, managing director of redevelopment for Invest Atlanta. “Great care was taken to work with these communities, developers, and non-profits to identify projects that would provide opportunities to attract new investment and create infrastructure in support of workforce and job development initiatives.”

In addition to the grants from the Community Improvement Fund, a number of commercial projects received funds from the Westside TAD in support of ongoing economic development efforts. They include:

Post Centennial Park
Post Properties will receive up to $4.35 million in Westside TAD Tax Increment to catalyze the new construction of 407 apartment units that will wrap a 578-space parking deck. The new rental development will be located across the street from the Center for Civil and Human Rights and World of Coca Cola. The 407-units will include workforce housing. The project is estimated to create more than 300 temporary construction jobs.

Castleberry Park
Estimated to bring in 800 temporary construction jobs and 112 permanent jobs, Bolton Atlanta, LLC will receive up to $4.2 million in Westside TAD Tax Increment to support building a mixed-use development. Located at the southwest corner of Mitchell Street and Centennial Olympic Park Drive, the new development will include a 200-room hotel, a parking deck and 24,000 square feet of ground floor retail space. The 122 apartment units included in the development will include workforce housing.

K&K Soul Food Restaurant
As part of the Downtown Façade Improvement Grant Program, K&K Soul Food Restaurant, a 46-year-old neighborhood institution, will receive up to $172,000 from the Westside TAD Tax Increment to visually enhance the restaurant’s existing façade. The funding will allow K&K to install new lighting, add signage, repave and restripe the parking area, and to build a concrete pad, column, and wraparound porch that will be used for outdoor dining.

75 Marietta Street Building Energy-Efficiency Improvements
The 75 Marietta Street Building, a mid-rise office building located in Downtown will receive nearly $1.4 million in Westside Tax Allocation District funding to implement energy savings projects as a participant in the Atlanta Better Buildings Challenge. The federally-sponsored program is designed to reduce energy consumption by 20% and the improvements will make the building more competitive in attracting tenants.