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ARC awards Edgewood, Sweet Auburn projects for ‘development excellence’

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The newly built award-winners were praised for innovative designs that embrace their respective communities

Two houses in the community.
La France Walk was praised for its varied housing options and walkability.
Fredrik Bauer

Alongside praise for projects from Alpharetta to the airport, the Atlanta Regional Commission declared recently that two new Atlanta developments had gone above and beyond with innovative design, earning the organization’s “Development of Excellence” awards.

Edgewood’s La France Walk community project and downtown’s Constellations co-working space took the cake, as the ARC announced Friday.

La France Walk, designed by Kronberg Wall Architects, is being developed in phases to help sate Atlanta’s need for “missing middle” housing—“the middle ground between single-family houses and multi-story apartments,” as Beltline visionary Ryan Gravel puts it.

The community will ultimately offer two dozen housing units, including 10 standalone homes, four duplexes, and three multifamily apartment buildings, “creating living spaces that accommodate different ages, incomes, and phases of life,” according to an ARC news release.

A photo of solar panels on a house at La France Walk.
Solar panels incorporated at La France Walk.
Jon-Michael Sullivan, Imotophoto

The ARC also praised La France Walk for its varied price points and walkability. As one example, a five-bedroom home with three levels and an in-home studio sold there in 2017 for $597,000.

Settled a few blocks from the Edgewood-Candler Park MARTA Station, as well as the Edgewood Retail District shopping hub, La France Walk offers easy access to many urban amenities.

Plus, “None of the single-family houses include garages,” as the ARC notes.

A photo of the Auburn Avenue building that Constellations will inhabit.
Constellations overlooks the Atlanta Streetcar tracks.
Luke Beard, Exposure

Constellations, meanwhile, was commended for infusing modern design into a historic two-story structure on Auburn Avenue.

The ARC called it “a lovingly restored workspace in downtown Atlanta that honors the building’s history and the civil rights legacy of the neighborhood,” which earned the award for Exceptional Merit for Innovations in Adaptive Reuse.

Designed by Gene Kansas Cultural Developers, Constellations “brings together 18 civic- and socially minded organizations under one roof,” according to the ARC.

A photo of the interior of Constellations.
Constellations mixes new with the old, inside and out.
Luke Beard, Exposure

The circa-1910 building used to be the Southern School Book Building, and the new accents complement the 20th century architecture. Even the front door is original.

“Even though he was not required to do so, developer Gene Kansas completed the project to comply with state historic preservation standards,” ARC officials noted.

Additionally, half of the businesses in the co-working space are nonprofits, and some two-thirds are run by women.

Constellations also includes a library, podcast studio, and cafe, plus immediate access to the Atlanta Streetcar line.

Other award-winners honored by the ARC were less specific to a single development initiative.

Those include the Aerotropolis area, a business hub being developed around Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, as well as the City of Chamblee and Mercy Park senior housing and healthcare facility, and the Alpharetta City Center, “a walkable district that resulted from a public-private partnership years in the making.”