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Photos: A stroll down Boulevard shows investment activity abounds

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Old Fourth Ward thoroughfare with a history of ills is dotted with new projects, construction sites, and proposals

A photo of The forthcoming City Lights II project on Old Fourth Ward’s Boulevard.
The forthcoming City Lights project on Boulevard, Station 464.
Photos by Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta

As home to Bedford Pine, the Southeast’s largest Section 8 housing project, and more than a few headline-grabbing if isolated crimes across the years, the Boulevard corridor has taken lumps in being called “Atlanta’s highest concentration of poverty,” “one of the city’s most notorious stretches of pavement,” and even “the hole in the donut” of Atlanta development.

But could a swell of unrelated projects—and the advent, anecdotally, of Boulevard townhomes asking almost $1 million—suggest that some of the traditional knocks against the troubled thoroughfare are slowly losing their validity?

Boulevard is dotted with new real estate ventures: finished projects, active construction sites, and proposals. Elsewhere looms the towering shadow of a crane that could help usher in hundreds of new residents within a few yards of Boulevard by next summer.

For this installment of Visual Journeys, we decided to pound pavement along Boulevard, from Ponce de Leon Avenue to Decatur Street, and have a look.

Note: Not shown are the finished senior housing apartments City Lights, which consumed a prominent Boulevard corner, and various multifamily ventures—especially townhomes—sprouting on adjacent blocks, with one notable exception.

Urban Purpose Design has scooped up this empty lot on the lower 600 block of Boulevard near the corner of Ponce, which is being marketed by Harry Norman Realtors. The homebuilder and commercial designer has built homes throughout Atlanta’s eastside in recent years, including East Atlanta and Edgewood. The lot(s) is marketed as being perfect for townhomes, two blocks from Ponce City Market.
Photos by Jonathan Phillips, Curbed Atlanta
Broader view of the slot in question. It sits between two multifamily buildings, two doors down from a Wendy’s.
A few blocks south, near the intersection of North Avenue and Glen Iris Drive, construction continues at the sloped site of Crescent Communities’s Novel O4W, which has put a crane over Boulevard, signaling major work.
Plans for the building were revealed late last year after financing woes had stymied a planned loft office project. The site was formerly home to a two-story apartment complex ravaged by fire.
The challenging site topography falls more than two stories along North Avenue.
A Novel O4W rendering. Expect 233 apartments atop more than 10,000 square feet of retail space, developers have said.
Crescent Communities
Farther south on Boulevard, construction fencing blocks off lots on either side of Parkway-Merritts Park, a mini green space with a basketball court. At last check, plans here called for a 100-unit apartment build by Dezhu U.S. Investment—one of four projects planned by the developer along the Boulevard and Parkway Drive corridors.
Scaffolding is up for City Lights’s phase two, called Station 464, at the corner of Boulevard and Angier Avenue.
Developer Wingate is building 96 units of affordable housing for neighborhood families, after the first phase of the project delivered 80 units for seniors in 2016.
Realized through a public-private partnership, the development is replacing outdated Section 8 housing that stood in Bedford Pine for years, the developer has said.
Last but not least, as Boulevard exits the Old Fourth Ward, here’s a look at how Fetch is shaping up, as seen on a recent weekend morning. It opened in June.
O4W’s first dog-park-restaurant-bar-hybrid takes the place of a weedy corner lot. Beyond an Airstream trailer with a full bar and TVs, it will eventually feature Fetch Ice House, “a restaurant and bar in an open-air, rustic setting with plenty of outdoor seating,” as project leaders have put it.