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Beltline unveils $80M Eastside Trail development with affordable housing

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Formerly contaminated land on trail’s western flank has sold to developer of Avalon, Colony Square

The 670-690 DeKalb Avenue proposal, as seen looking south from north of the Edgewood Avenue bridge.
Part of the 670-690 DeKalb Ave. proposal, as seen looking south from north of the Edgewood Avenue bridge.
Renderings: Atlanta Beltline Inc.

Walkers, joggers, cyclists, and every other Atlanta Beltline explorer will have to contend with a short unfinished gap when the rest of the Eastside Trail extension debuts in a few months, but the longterm payoff will be a vibrant mixed-use hub chockfull of “affordable workforce housing,” officials announced Monday.

Atlanta Beltline Inc. revealed that a sale of roughly two acres of formerly contaminated land last used as an industrial laundry facility has finalized with developer North American Properties, the team behind Atlantic Station’s revamp and Avalon.

No sales price was divulged. But fresh renderings of what could be built have emerged.

The high-profile DeKalb Avenue land in question links Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward, just south of Edgewood Avenue; there, it recently came to light that construction of the Eastside Trail’s extension will be delayed to allow NAP to safely build their planned mixed-use ventures, which are in permitting phases.

With a $2.5-million loan from The Conservation Fund, ABI bought the brownfield site from Aramark two years ago and began remediation work in hopes of attracting a mix of uses and affordable housing.

Looking west from Krog Street, toward downtown.
ABI/Brock Hudgins Architects

Now, NAP plans to spend $80 million on a walkable development that will offer basically every ingredient in the mixed-use enchilada: residential, loft office, restaurant, and retail space. Officials said 20 percent of housing units built on the land controlled by ABI “will be allocated towards affordable workforce housing.”

During construction, Beltline users will be routed up the Edgewood Avenue bridge and down Krog Street to reach the trail’s new leg in Cabbagetown and beyond—and vice versa.

The vision, officials stressed, was curated during numerous meetings with adjacent property owners, NPUs in the area, and the Inman Park Neighborhood Association during the rezoning process.

“We’re thankful to our partners and neighbors for helping us make this extraordinary public private partnership possible,” Beltline CEO and President Paul Morris said in a statement. “Through it we’re able to bring a key segment of the Eastside Trail to life by uniting two historically divided railroads, restoring and rehabilitating a contaminated industrial site, and realizing the promise of enhanced mobility, new jobs, recreation, and enhanced affordability for all.”

The site last month.
Curbed Atlanta