This month marks a year since a downtown tower concept with a unique focus on educators made news on these pages. Contrary to recent internet rumors, the Teachers Village Atlanta building is not, in fact, under construction right now—nor will it be this spring.

But the project is still very much alive and making progress toward construction, officials tell Urbanize Atlanta this week.

Special Administrative Permit filings in April 2022 showed New Jersey-based RBH Group was planning to build Teachers Village taller than expected (33 stories, instead of 31) but with fewer apartments (427, versus 438).

A project rep this week says RBH developers “are finalizing contract negotiations with the contractor and have commenced the closing process on construction and permanent financing,” which they expect to wrap up within 90 days. As designed by New York City-based S9 Architecture, whose local portfolio includes Ponce City Market, the project is expected to cost north of $176 million, officials have said.

A potential groundbreaking date hasn’t been set.

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

Overview of the 98 Cone Street/0 Walton Street site and its proximity to Centennial Olympic Park. Google Maps

Teachers Village would claim a 1/3-acre site bounded by Cone Street, Ted Turner Drive, and Walton Street downtown, a block from Centennial Olympic Park in the Fairlie-Poplar Historic District.

Developers have described the 375-foot-tall downtown proposal as a first of its kind in Georgia, in that the 427 apartments would be marketed to teachers, other school employees, and seniors in Atlanta as relatively affordable living options. 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 Group’s marketing materials.

The 98 Cone Street site in question is currently a parking lot between two multistory parking decks. Plans call for renovating the nearest deck on the same block and creating 381 parking spaces total for Teachers Village tenants.

Elsewhere, fronting Walton Street, roughly 23,000 square feet of retail is in the works across two stories. That could add vibrancy to the district with restaurants and shops.

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

The breakdown calls for 91 studios, 270 one-bedrooms, and 66 two-bedroom rentals.  

The higher floors would be reserved for 231 apartments geared toward teachers, while lower floors would see 196 senior independent living units. The rentals would be accessed through separate lobbies at ground level, according to the SAP filing.  

Seventy of the apartments—none of them studios—are expected to be reserved as affordable housing for residents earning 80 percent of the area median income or less. Those rents would range between $784 and $990, according to the SAP paperwork.

Expected rents for the market-rate units haven’t been specified.

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, per the filings.

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

Teachers Village 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 project by Landmark Properties and AECOM-Canyon Partners that’s finishing now. 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.

Overview of the 33-story, 434,126-square-foot tower proposal. RBH Group

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


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