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Downtown's Kiser Building to be Reborn as Apartments

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Plans call for former shoe factory's conversion to first market rate apartments in south downtown in more than a decade

South Downtown has, for many, many years, been a place people don't really flock to. In fact, according to Creative Loafing, no developer has dared building new market-rate apartments in the area since the early 2000s. But Gallman Development Group is seeking to change that, with the announcement of plans to bring 40 new market-rate apartments to South Downtown. With activity picking up in the neighborhood, it's not all that surprising that developers are beginning to take notice.

Plans call for the adaptive reuse of the old M.C. Kiser Building, originally constructed as a shoe manufacturing plant. Gallman will retain the exterior brick walls and re-expose the original "M.C. Kiser Building" sign. An old freight elevator in the building will be repurposed into what can only be one of the coolest industrial-chic rooms in the city, and the developer hopes to uncover more architectural and historical gems to incorporate into the finished product.

Located two blocks from Garnett MARTA Station, just south of Five Points and Underground Atlanta, the building is well situated for transit access. One element that could hamper the conversion is the lack of space to provide parking for all 40 units; while not required, lenders are concerned that a lack of parking would make the building unmarketable. An attached annex building will be converted for parking, allowing for one car per unit to appease lenders, though the building owner would prefer to see that space better utilized for retail amenities. With MARTA access, a car-sharing program, and amenities just a quick walk away, hopefully the parking won't be needed for long.

If all goes according to plan, they hope to welcome the first renters in spring 2017.

This article was edited from an earlier version that characterized the parking as required by the city, not by lenders.