Developers say a downtown high-rise project that’s been percolating for nearly three years will break ground in a matter of months, providing a jolt of attainable housing options not geared toward college students or tourists for a change.

Officials with New Jersey-based RBH Group tell Urbanize Atlanta schedules call for breaking ground in the first quarter of 2024 on a 457,584-square-foot tower called Teachers Village, which first came to light with initial designs in early 2021.

Classified as mixed-use, the project would see 424 apartments total, with none of them rented at purely market rates.

RBH has described the 375-foot-tall downtown proposal as a first for Georgia, in that all apartments would be marketed to teachers, other school employees, and seniors in Atlanta as relatively affordable living options.

Officials this week said the bulk of the tower—227 units—will be reserved for independent living seniors. The remain 197 apartments will be considered workforce housing.

A revised look at the Teachers Village project's planned retail space where Ted Turner Drive, at left, meets Walton Street. RBH Group; designs, S9 Architecture

Ten percent of the units, or 23 homes, will be earmarked for renters who make no more than 80 percent of the area median income. The rest will be rented at below 120 percent AMI, project reps said this week.

According to a building permit application filed Monday, the tower will stand 33 stories, replacing a surface parking lot on the .92-acre property.

A parking garage currently on site will remain standing, per filings with the City of Atlanta Office of Buildings.

The Teachers Village site in question is bounded by Cone Street, Ted Turner Drive, and Walton Street downtown, a block from Centennial Olympic Park in the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District.

The southeast corner of the Cone Street site, looking toward Centennial Olympic Park. Google Maps

How the project would front Walton Street. RBH Group; designs, S9 Architecture

Roughly 23,000 square feet of retail fronting Walton Street is also in the works across two stories, aimed at adding vibrancy to the district with restaurants and shops. Plans also call for 371 parking spaces.

The project is designed by New York City-based S9 Architecture, whose local portfolio includes Ponce City Market. The goal is to fill a void of workforce housing downtown and create “a model for shared, intergenerational living where residents share social responsibility and live purposeful lives,” per RBH’s marketing materials.

According to earlier Special Administrative Permit filings, plans call for topping the building with a rooftop swimming pool and sun deck, while other outdoor amenities would include landscaped terraces above a new parking podium. The minimum 43 bike parking spaces required would be included in eight racks.

The higher floors would be reserved for apartments geared toward teachers, while lower floors would see senior independent living units. Those two variations of rentals would be accessed through separate lobbies at ground level, according to SAP filings.

In 2021, Invest Atlanta approved a $4-million Tax Allocation District grant and $26 million in tax-exempt bond financing to support construction of the portion of the project meant for teachers. At the time, they pointed to RBH’s success in developing other Teachers Village projects in Newark and Hartford, Conn. that addressed a need for workforce housing.

Teachers Village is now expected to be completed in 2026, project heads tell Urbanize Atlanta.

The project will pursue a National Green Building Standard rating with Bronze certification, per filings earlier this year. RBH Group

The tower would join a growth spurt for residential high-rises claiming former parking lots and low-rise structures across downtown, from the Gulch to blocks near the Connector.

The Teachers Village site is roughly a block from a 32-story student housing tower by Landmark Properties and AECOM-Canyon Partners that’s now open. Also within a block, the 22-story Margaritaville resort condo building by Wyndham Destinations opened with 200 suites and two floors of retail last year.

In other downtown residential (and affordable housing) news, a 218-unit project called Trinity Central Flats continues to line up financing in hopes of also opening in 2026 at a vacant parcel across the street from Atlanta City Hall.


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