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South downtown Atlanta conversion to bring 41 new rentals near Garnett MARTA

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Project would be first new housing in more than a decade for the neighborhood

A classical three-story brick building with lots of original details.
The Kiser Building.
Google Maps

For many years, the area south of Five Points in downtown has been a no-man's land. But as interest grows in the rehabbing of Underground Atlanta — and the rest of downtown — sporadic plans are beginning to materialize to make the area more desirable.

Now, BisNow is reporting that developers have lined up financing to convert a long-abandon, historic building in the heart of the neighborhood into apartments.

The Kiser Building, built to house a shoe factory in 1914, will be converted into a 41-unit apartment building atop ground floor retail, according to plans.

First announced more than 10 months ago, a lack of financing has held up the project — partially due to a perceived lack of parking. Now, with $8.5 million lined up, the project is a go, though it’s unclear if the parking count was increased.

Located near Garnett MARTA Station, the building is well situated for transit access. When proposed, the developer elected to move forward with less than one parking space per bedroom, and no on-site parking for retail — against the norm for other developments across the city.

While the strategy would be unorthodox, the lack of space onsite, the abundance of surface parking on nearby sites, the proximity to the heart of the city, and ostensibly cheaper rents than hotter neighborhoods could prove enough to lure renters away from their cars.

Parking calculations from the developer.

If the building succeeds, it could — along with another car-forsaking project recently announced in Old Fourth Ward — help set a new trend for Atlanta development.