Microsoft Buying Major Atlanta Site To Build Offices, Affordable Housing
A global technology giant is among the buyers of a prominent West Atlanta property next to the Bellwood Quarry, with plans on boosting the city’s affordable housing stock while laying the foundation for future office space.
Microsoft, the tech giant founded by Bill Gates, paid $127M Sept. 1 to purchase a 70-acre mixed-use site known as Quarry Yards, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported, citing unnamed sources. Microsoft bought it from Urban Creek Partners, a group led by former Atlanta Braves and New York Yankees All-Star first baseman Mark Teixeira.
The paper initially identified the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the charity arm founded by Gates, as a buyer of the site. Foundation officials later denied the nonprofit's involvement to the AJC.
This deal may provide a major boost to the city of Atlanta’s goals of increasing its supply of affordable housing, especially in an area that is being targeted by different developers, spurring concerns that gentrification will displace longtime residents. The Atlanta City Council even placed a moratorium on development in the area in March.
Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms has vowed to create or preserve 20,000 affordable homes and invest $1B in public, private and philanthropic investments for affordable housing by 2026.
The project may also include office space, the AJC reported. It was unclear if the space would be used by Microsoft, which just recently announced plans to create 1,500 new high-tech jobs at Hines’ 523K SF Atlantic Yards development at Atlantic Station.
Bisnow confirmed Urban Creek's sale Wednesday of what was slated to be Quarry Yards, a $400M, 70-acre mixed-use project next to the Westside Reservoir Park that would include 575K SF of office, 75K SF of retail, a hotel and hundreds of apartments.
Teixeira acquired and assembled various parcels over the years to what eventually became Quarry Yards. In 2019, his firm transferred the title to 66 acres, the bulk of which was sold to the new owner, to another entity it controls, according to Databank, an Atlanta firm that tracks deed records. The value of that land at the time of the transfer was $58.8M, according to Databank.
CORRECTION, SEPT. 11, 12:15 P.M. ET: The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is not part of the purchase, as was previously reported. This story has been updated.