A year and ½ after demolition roared ahead, a project that’s essentially creating a new BeltLine-adjacent sub-neighborhood in Reynoldstown is about to start its second phase of construction, with revised plans that aim to set a new precedent for car-free intown living.
Empire Communities’ Stein Steel project, named for a steel plant that operated on the 6.5-acre site for nearly a century, is rapidly remaking a property once marketed as BeltLine “beachfront” near the junction of piping-hot Eastside Trail neighborhoods such as Cabbagetown, Inman Park, and Old Fourth Ward.
Replacing land previously occupied by piles of steel, heavy equipment, and gravel lots, Stein Steel will see dozens of housing units arranged around new streets, a greenspace component, and eventually, an adaptive-reuse restaurant and bar called Breaker Breaker fronting the BeltLine.
We recently caught up with Saba Loghman, Empire’s director of acquisitions, for an update on where all aspects of the project stand—and the logic behind design changes.
Where’s the first phase stand now?
“Horizontal development, a new street grid, and horizontal improvements are complete,” Loghman wrote via email this week. “[We’re] finishing phase one with a mix of two and three-story townhomes from the $500,000s and low $600,000s. Phase one is almost sold out, with only a couple of opportunities remaining.”
“We’re kicking off phase two after experiencing success with phase one. We’re going vertical in February on the Milltown stacks, with 12 to 24 new releases next week. The stacked product will include one, two, and three-bedroom units from the $300,000s to $600,000s.”
And the greenspace facet?
“We’re wrapping up the Lang-Carson expansion park and working with the neighborhood, Councilmember [Liliana] Bakhtiari, and Parks Commissioner [Justin] Cutler on transferring the land and improvements over to the city. In total, it will be roughly a half-acre of new greenspace and improvements off the BeltLine for Reynoldstown and Stein Steel.”
Where’s construction of the restaurant and bar stand, originally anticipated to open for Labor Day weekend last year?
“Construction at Breaker Breaker is progressing,” says Loghman. “No new updates on an opening date, but [restauranteur Alex Brounstein] and his team are working hard to get open as soon as possible. It's going to be a one-of-a-kind building and a staple on the BeltLine.”
Why was the mid-rise condo component subtracted from Stein Steel plans?
“With the rising and rapid escalation of construction costs that we recently experienced as an industry, we ultimately shifted from the six-story boutique mid-rise to more missing-middle housing typologies and a mix of two to four-story product,” Loghman says. “The 80-unit mid-rise will be replaced with 12 stacked condos, seven townhomes, four duplexes, and seven no garage/no parking detached single-family cottage homes.”
No parking? In Atlanta?
“[Design changes] ultimately created more front doors along the Atlanta BeltLine, small greenspaces at ground level, and replaced a more expensive market-rate mid-rise with more housing options in keeping with the neighborhood,” says Loghman. “The no garage/no parking single-family homes will be a distinct opportunity to prove there is a demand for no-car homes in Atlanta.”
In the gallery above, find an extensive tour of how the BeltLine-adjacent site looks today—and what’s to come.
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