Luxury apartments planned near former Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter

A luxury apartment tower is planned near the former Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter. (Source: Woodfield Development)

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A luxury apartment tower is planned near the former Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter. (Source: Woodfield Development)

A planned luxury apartment tower near the former Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter shows how developers are licking their chops at the potential of the once-derelict intown neighborhood.

Woodfield Development, a South Carolina residential developer, plans to break ground in October on 505 Courtland, an $87 million, 16-story building with about 280 rental units. Woodfield did not disclose a price range, but Atlanta development partner Patrick Kassin said they will be marketed as luxury units.

The neighborhood has been economically depressed for decades, partly due to the shelter and the hundreds of residents it housed nightly. City and business leaders worked for years to remove the shelter and it closed in December 2017. A coalition of community advocates helped relocate some of the shelter's residents.

Developers hope a new name for the district catches on: SoNo (South of North Avenue).

The location will appeal to young professionals who want to live near jobs in midtown and downtown, said City Councilman Amir Farokhi. The 505 Courtland site is a 7-minute walk from the Civic Center MARTA station and a short walk to office buildings with thousands of jobs. It’s also a short walk to city-owned Renaissance Park. The site is now a vacant lot.

“This part of the city has terrific potential and has a lot of underutilized sites now,” Farokhi said. “We have more demand for housing than we have housing available.”

One thing it won’t address, though, is the need for cheaper housing amid soaring costs. The median rent for a two-bedroom home in Metro Atlanta has risen roughly 65% to $1,474 in the past decade, property listing service RentCafé estimated recently.

The building will not contain affordable housing units and Woodfield will not apply for tax incentives, Kassin said. He declined to name their financial partners. Woodfield recently obtained approval through the city’s Development Review Committee process and is now preparing its application for a special administrative permit.

The 505 Courtland development will include five stories of parking and the rest will be residential units, according to Kassin. The project will include space to display works by local artists and a room for hosting community meetings. The first residential units will likely be ready in summer 2022.

Other developers have either started work on projects in the neighborhood, or are lining up financing. The developer Dezhu US has a condo project across the street. The Atlanta Housing Authority bought the nearby Civic Center property in 2017 and plans to redevelop the site with affordable housing and retail.

More signs have popped up of the changes coming. The city recently removed fencing that had blocked off portions of Renaissance Park due to trouble from shelter residents, Kassin said. Bike lanes and sidewalk improvements are being installed on Courtland and Juniper Street.

Soon, the former shelter building may also be removed. Emory University bought the 28,500-square-foot building for $6.2 million from the nonprofit group Central Atlanta Progress in December 2018. Emory hasn't said what it plans to do with the block-long building, but it might demolish the structure.

Emory University Hospital Midtown is located across Peachtree from the former shelter. Emory’s recently opened proton therapy center is located three blocks north.