Catty-corner from Chosewood Park’s Sawtell property, a 40-acre swath of land being marketed to prospective mini-city builders, a rookie developer is planning a humble mixed-use project that could bring cheap living options and commercial space to the neighborhood.
Conceptualized by RHR Investments, a family-run business helmed by Atlantan Stephen Holmes and his two cousins, the roughly 5,000-square-foot “300 Milton”—tentatively named for its address on Milton Avenue—is slated to deliver five residences and two commercial spaces to the dilapidated property.
“I wanted to contribute something small, because I don’t have the large developer money,” Holmes told Curbed Atlanta.
The two-story 300 Milton project, which Holmes expects could cost around $1 million to build, recently earned approval from the City of Atlanta’s Development Review Committee to reduce sidewalks to five-feet wide near the entrances of two ground-floor apartments.
But that’s really just a technicality. Pedestrians would actually have about 15 feet of walking space in front of the entrances—including the five-foot “supplemental zone” and the five-foot “amenity zone” fronting the building near the doors to the residences.
According to Holmes, the city’s DRC told him the proposed development is “a great design for urban infill development.”
The amenity zone would feature new trees, bike racks, and seating for passersby and patrons of the two commercial spaces—one of which has already been leased to a salon business.
Avowed urbanists could be thrilled to know that Holmes recently scored a zoning variance that will allow him to include just four parking spaces, instead of the otherwise expected 19.
Holmes said the one-bedroom apartments, which will range from 510 to 868 square feet, would be priced relatively affordably at around $1.70 per square foot. That means rents would range from $867 to about $1,475 monthly.
The property, which housed a one-pump gas station from the 1920s until the 1970s, also hosts a MARTA bus stop at the southwestern corner.
An environmental impact study conducted by RHR Investments found that a decades-old gas tank will have to be exhumed, although Holmes said he was told there’s a “high likelihood that there’s low contamination” at the site.
The 300 Milton venture would also rise within an easy walk or bike ride from the Beltline’s planned Southside Trail.
“As a resident of the neighborhood who uses alternate forms of travel, I think this would be a good addition to the community,” said Holmes.