Atlanta Civic Center Redevelopment Gets New Development Team, New Vision
Perhaps the third time is the charm for the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center's long-sought redevelopment.
The Republic Family of Cos., along with The Michaels Organization and Sophy Capital, have reached an agreement with the Atlanta Housing Authority to potentially redevelop the shuttered civic center and its surrounding site with affordable housing and a grocery store.
AH's board unanimously agreed to enter into master developer negotiations with the three parties in a joint venture for roughly 14 acres of the site — not including the plaza and performing arts center — into a $575M mixed-use project. But AH officials said in a press release that the agreement would allow the team “to play a role in the master planning and potential development” of both parcels.
AH Deputy Chief Real Estate Officer Trish O'Connell said this week she is seeking developers to build 1,311 housing units and a grocery store, with 525 of those units offering rents to residents at or below 80% of the area median income, which is more than $77K for a family of four, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
“The vision for this development has the potential to infuse $1 billion into the Historic Old Fourth Ward, providing thousands of Atlantans from all walks of life with endless opportunities,” Mayor Andre Dickens said in a statement. “The project will also honor the legacy of Buttermilk Bottom by embracing the site’s rich history while preserving the Performing Arts Center and transforming the site into a true civic anchor at the heart of a new livable and equitable community.”
The Republic-Michaels-Sophy venture is the third developer to take a shot at redoing the civic center, which shuttered in 2014. In 2016, then-Mayor Kasim Reed contracted with Houston-based Weingartern Realty to redevelop the 19-acre site and civic center. That deal fell apart, even after the AH paid the city to buy the property in 2017 to assist Weingarten, according to the AJC.
In May of this year, AH agreed to work with Tishman Speyer and H.J. Russell & Co. on a $1B redevelopment of the civic center property, which would have included 1,300 housing units. But the developer pulled out of the project days later, saying that the timing of the project for them wasn't right, the AJC reported.
Republic plans a total of 1.8M SF of development at the site, according to the press release. Aside from housing and the grocery store, the development group also plans for recreation space, a new school, hospitality, retail, office, rooftop gardens and open spaces.
AH said it will fully recover its $41.7M acquisition cost of the property over 99 years under a ground lease with the master developers.