Years in the making, a master-planned community geared toward providing quality, affordable living options is preparing to start construction where public housing was demolished on Atlanta’s southside 15 years ago.

Atlanta-based multifamily and commercial developer The Benoit Group and its partner Atlanta Housing have completed the last financial closing required to move forward with a $72-million, mixed-use project called Englewood Senior. It’s the first piece of a much larger community planned in a BeltLine neighborhood experiencing a groundswell of outside investment.

The 160-unit venture for independent senior living is slated to rise on the northern portion of a 30-acre site in Chosewood Park, about one and ½ miles south of Zoo Atlanta, around the corner from an access point to the BeltLine’s Southside Trail corridor.

“With access to the [BeltLine], residents of Englewood Senior will have the opportunity to enjoy world-class amenities in one of our city's historic neighborhoods,” Terri M. Lee, Atlanta Housing president and CEO, said in a Friday announcement for the project’s closing. “[It] ensures that one of our most vulnerable resident populations can age with dignity in quality communities.”

The project's eastern flank. via Invest Atlanta

The Englewood Avenue location south of Grant Park and Interstate 20, just west of Boulevard. Google Maps

From an affordability standpoint, plans call for 21 units with rents capped at 30 percent of the area median income level or below.

In those cases, rents for two-bedroom apartments with 950 square feet are expected to be $1,261 monthly, or $200 cheaper for one-bedroom options. But residents receiving Atlanta Housing HomeFlex vouchers won’t be required to pay more than 30 percent of their income, meaning monthly costs would be less, according to Invest Atlanta.

The remaining 139 apartments would be capped at 60 percent AMI, and none are expected to rent for market rate. All apartments will be reserved for residents age 62 and older, and more than $2.5 million in rental subsidies for low-income families have been earmarked to help.

Project amenities are listed as movie theaters for residents, a green roof deck, a fitness center, a business and computer center, and a clubhouse with community and meeting rooms, among other perks.

A 213-space parking deck (a reprieve from so much surface parking with new residential projects in the area) is also included in the initial plans, alongside 15,000 square feet of retail space.

The first mixed-use project on the Englewood site is scheduled to take 26 months to build, with an estimated completion sometime in 2026.

Where the Englewood senior component will fit into the broader plan. via Invest Atlanta

But phase one will include more than senior housing.

The second building in the first phase—called Englewood Multifamily—is expected to close and move forward this summer, with more than 300 residences and another 35,000 square feet of retail space. The housing breakdown for that component: 81 for-sale single-family homes and townhomes (16 reserved as affordable), plus another 200 apartments in a mid-rise building, with all but 40 of those reserved at affordable rates, according to Invest Atlanta.  

Englewood’s full first phase will see more than $200 million invested from various private, public, and philanthropic sources, according to project leaders.

For the senior housing component, those sources include federal and state equity tax credit investment from Raymond James and JP Morgan, permanent HUD-insured loan financing from Berkadia, and a Sterling Bank construction loan, as well as BeltLine TAD funding and a secondary priority loan from Atlanta Housing.

The community that formerly stood on site, Englewood Manor, was built in 1970 and eventually housed 324 families. It fell into “severe physical and social distress” and, with HUD’s approval,  was demolished in 2009, as project leaders put it in the Friday announcement.

Atlanta Housing—one of the nation’s largest housing authorities—has described Englewood as being among the biggest planned developments on its docket. About 76 percent of the community will be reserved as affordable for people earning 80 percent of the area median income or less, agency officials have said.

Overall, the 30-acre Englewood project is expected to see more than 900 housing units and retail catered toward neighborhood needs sprout in five multifamily buildings and other, smaller components along Boulevard, just south of the BeltLine’s Southside Trail. 

The project will border the Chosewood Park greenspace and athletic fields, with the first phase of the BeltLine’s Boulevard Crossing Park across the street to the north.

The tiered northern facade that would look toward the BeltLine's Southside Trail and downtown. via Invest Atlanta

Several sizable Chosewood Park residential projects are well underway within a few blocks of the Englewood site.

Those include the 396-apartment Upton complex, 128 townhomes called Maguire at Skylark, and one of the largest southside private developments to date, the 34-acre Empire Zephyr project.


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