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In Old Fourth Ward, affordable housing development with office facet gains steam

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Decatur Street project called Thrive Sweet Auburn to receive $350,000 grant to boost housing affordability

A rendering of a brick and white building, long and four stories, with windows at the bottom.
Plans for 302 Decatur Street SE, just east of downtown.
Images via Thrive Sweet Auburn, unless noted

With its bounty of homes priced over $1 million and skyrocketing rents, Old Fourth Ward has become synonymous in recent years with Atlanta’s affordability crunch.

Now, on a lighter note, a development partnership that aims to help stem that tide with more than 100 affordable new homes on the neighborhood’s southern end is set to receive a cash boost.

Mixed-use project Thrive Sweet Auburn is planned for a corner lot at 302 Decatur Street, one block west of the King Memorial MARTA Station, in the shadow of downtown.

The team effort by Project Community Connections Inc., Mercy Housing Southeast, and Enterprise Community Partners is expected to deliver 117 rentals in the spring of 2021.

A brick building on a corner next to a blue car.
The corner-lot site today.

Apartment sizes will range from studios to three-bedroom flats, and project leaders say to expect a mix of permanent supportive housing and affordable units reserved for households making between 30 and 80 percent of the area median income.

Unlike other recent, strictly residential affordable housing efforts in neighborhoods such as Adair Park and Vine City, Thrive Sweet Auburn is expected to offer leasable office space, onsite support services for residents, and possibly a commercial kitchen for training food-industry aspirants.

A blueprint for a building in white and purples.
Plans for the base level, where Decatur and Bell streets meet.

At a ceremony planned Wednesday with Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms, Wells Fargo is expected to present the project a $350,000 grant as part of a broader effort to “support housing affordability and neighborhood revitalization efforts in Atlanta,” officials announced this week.

Funds will be used for constructing Thrive Sweet Auburn, which project heads note is also within walking distance to Grady Memorial Hospital, Mercy Care, and Georgia State University. In marketing materials, the location is described as the juncture of Old Fourth Ward and North Grant Park.

A four-story building with brick walls at the bottom.
The building’s elevation not facing the street.

It’s not the only recent news on Old Fourth Ward’s mixed-use development front in the area.

The block-altering Waldo’s project made its construction officially official with a ceremony last month along Boulevard.

And elsewhere in the neighborhood’s Sweet Auburn district, mixed-use plans have emerged along Hilliard and Jackson streets for The Front Porch at Auburn Avenue, which developers are calling “Atlanta’s premier equity project.”

That venture, positioned along the Atlanta Streetcar route, is expected to include a retail facet, while adaptively reusing a former funeral home and offering for-sale residences as well.

A rendering of a brick and white building, long and four stories, with windows at the bottom.
The above rendering in full.