Meanwhile, only about 560 units of affordable housing has been created in the Beltline Tad. Atlanta Beltline wants that number to increase to 5,600 along the 22-mile span by 2030.
“We’re kind of at an inflection point,” Paul Morris, Atlanta Beltline’s CEO and president, said of the rising cost of living along the Beltline. “The pace with which that affordability is declining is much faster than anything else happening in our economy.”
Invest Atlanta board member and Fulton County Commissioner Emma Darnell said she is already hearing concerns from residents. They fear that rising prices and interest in the Beltline could displace current residents and that those looking to relocate there will be priced out.
“It cannot be trails only,” she said.
The $7.5 million outlay will also allow Beltline officials to make affordability a priority in future Beltline neighborhoods while they are still within reach of most consumers, said Atlanta City Councilman and Invest Atlanta board member Andre Dickens.
“What is affordable today may not be affordable tomorrow,” he said. “Inman Park and Old Fourth Ward once upon a time were affordable.”
The next big boom could come along the westside trail and leaders are already devising ways to help homeowners stay put and help operators of multi-family housing to develop their property to attract potential renters or homeowners, said Invest Atlanta CEO Eloisa Klementich.
“It’s not one strategy, but a spectrum of strategies,” she said.