A year after it broke ground, a Kirkwood housing development is on pace to start delivering this year, continuing a couple of intown trends: the influx of new townhome product and former church properties being redeveloped for different purposes.

Totaling about 4 acres, the former Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral property and its parking lot are located in the 200 block of Clifton Street, between quickly developing Memorial Drive and Interstate 20, on Kirkwood’s southern fringes. Alonzo A. Crim High School and its sports fields are across the street.

Replacing the 1980s church property—once headed by prominent pastor Wiley Jackson and operated as part of World in Action Ministries—will be 103 rental townhomes built by Urban Realty Partners, the firm behind Memorial Dive’s new Gibson by Radius project and Grant Park’s GlenCastle.

Approaching the 4-acre site from East Atlanta, northbound on Clifton Street, as seen in June 2023. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Sam Mitchell, an Urban Realty Partners development associate, says the first townhomes are scheduled to deliver in late 2023 and that others will continue to come online sequentially for several months after that.

No renderings for the project or estimated rent prices are available yet, per Mitchell.

Prior to cleanup efforts before its demolition, the vacant, fire-damaged church property had devolved into an open dumping ground and homeless encampment where Kirkwood meets East Atlanta.  

Site plan for the 103-unit townhome community and its amenities.Courtesy of Urban Realty Partners

The former church's Clifton Street lot between Interstate 20 and Memorial Drive, where Kirkwood meets East Atlanta.Google Maps

In September 2019, a fire had ripped through the abandoned structure in the early morning hours, collapsing parts of the roof and façade. By late 2021, passersby were witnessing public urination and blatant drug use on the property, according to code enforcement complaints.

Developers enlisted the help of homeless outreach services, Atlanta police, and city officials to assist those being displaced, Mitchell previously said.

According to RealtyTrac, the property sold in November 2021 for $4.35 million. The former church was built in 1987, per LoopNet records.

Plans call for some townhomes to be divided as one-bedroom apartments on a single level with about 650 square feet; the largest will be more traditional, stacked townhome dwellings in the 1,700-square-foot range, as designed by the Lessard Design firm, which also drew up rental townhomes slowly taking shape on Arizona Avenue.

Future Clifton Street frontage for more than 100 townhome units near Interstate 20. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The graffiti-strewn exterior of Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral's former building is shown in December 2021. Damage from a 2019 fire was apparent at left. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

The acreage is being maxed out, which doesn’t allow much room for greenspace, so amenities are being concentrated around a centralized communal building, Mitchell told Urbanize Atlanta last year. Those will include coworking spaces, a pool, and a common room, all in an amenity building with midcentury-inspired design.

Urban Realty Partners’ other projects in the Memorial Drive corridor include The Leonard apartments and Oakland Park condos in Grant Park.


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