Just a few years ago, the districts wrapped around the world’s busiest passenger airport, Hartsfield-Jackson International, generally housed a depressing mix of warehouses, some restaurants, and hotels that mostly catered to people flying in and out of Atlanta.
It was only in 2016 that the first College Park apartment complex built in more than three decades—The Pad on Harvard—welcomed its first residents, infusing life into a prideful neighborhood studded with historic houses.
Now, thanks in part to the idealism of the Aerotropolis Atlanta Alliance—a program launched in 2015 to spruce up areas around HJIA—another new residential option should soon be on the rise a few blocks north of The Pad.
On Friday, developers Rod Mullice and Jerome Russell, the brains behind The Pad project, are scheduled to break ground on Temple Square, a 17-unit townhome community sited in Historic Downtown College Park at the corner of Washington Street and Temple Avenue.
The first project to join College Park’s newly approved transit-oriented development district, Temple Square promises easy access to the local MARTA train station and, therefore, the airport, as well as close proximity to the corporate headquarters of Delta Air Lines, Porsche North America, and Chick-fil-A.
The 17 units will come in floorplans ranging from 1,850 to 2,500 square feet, located within walking distance of downtown College Park and Woodward Academy.
With accessibility to retail and the airport’s 63,000 jobs, coupled with the fact the area is striving to become not just livable, but likable, it might come as a surprise that the new “upscale” townhomes will start in the low $300,000s.
Very few townhome comps exist in the immediate area, but that price point has long since sailed in many hot real estate zones equidistant to the city’s core.
While some parts of College Park might seem rundown or deserted, the city’s new transit-oriented zoning code aims to enliven walkable areas and raise the bar for retail entry, with bans on businesses like pawn shops, tattoo parlors, strip clubs, and check-cashing facilities.
Here’s the official spiel, per a press release issued today: “When completed in 2019, Temple Square will embody and advance the Aerotropolis concept of a thriving metropolitan destination with easy access to good jobs, attractive residential options, retail and commercial vitality, recreational opportunities, education choices, and transportation alternatives.”
Although some vice industries, such as adult entertainment, are barred from the “Airport City,” several landowners are marketing their properties to casino operators, banking on the possibility that the Georgia Legislature will legalize casino gambling in the near future.
But since it’s yet unclear whether state lawmakers will actually green-light casino projects during the next legislative session, College Park City Manager Terrence Moore said it’s best not to hold your breath on slot machines in the city.
This story was updated on December 13 at 9:27 a.m. to include a new rendering and a remark from College Park’s city manager regarding casino gambling.