At the site of a heated squabble last year over a proposed, relatively dense housing project in the middle of residential Edgewood, a development team’s Plan B is starting to noticeably take shape.

Just east of the Edgewood Retail District, initial plans for 90/98 Whitefoord had called for creating four dozen “missing middle” rental options—some reserved at prices people earning less than $36,000 annually could afford—within an easy walk of public transit options, grocery stores, and shopping.

Some rents for studios would have been as low as $453 monthly, and thus the concept’s slogan: “Edgewood for Everyone.” The unit count was later rolled back to 36, with a one-to-one parking ratio, in an effort to gain approval.

But following neighborhood pushback, developers SLR Investments squashed those plans in May for the 1-acre, corner site where two older homes had been demolished.

Under construction now is a row of large duplexes fronting Whitefoord Avenue, each with three stories and large patios on the roofs.

Construction progress this month at the corner of Whitefoord Avenue and Finley Street in Edgewood, where 48 apartments had once been planned. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Jonathan Rich, a real estate agent and SLR Investments team member, says renderings and details including finalized duplex unit sizes should be ready to share by early April. Rich previously told Urbanize Atlanta the property—once the missing-middle plans had fallen through—was subdivided into four lots with a duplex planned for each. Which means, at most, eight new homes would be created on the corner site.

Last year, Rich described the effort to create more affordable housing by way of added density as a “brutal process,” though his company’s research pointed to the location being right for dozens of new apartments in Craftsman-style buildings designed to blend into the neighborhood.

SLR Investments hoped to rezone the property from single-family or duplex uses to a missing-middle housing designation, or MR-MU, capitalizing on walkability. 

The site is roughly four blocks from the Edgewood/Candler Park MARTA station, and a MARTA bus stop is located across the street.  

Duplex frontages along Whitefoord Avenue. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Opponents and some neighborhood leaders contended the site wasn’t exactly right for so much new housing in one place, especially when considering more relatively dense projects popping up nearby. Lack of dedicated parking and traffic were concerns, as was a disagreement that the project didn't align with the broader Edgewood Redevelopment Plan.

Some residents did applaud the project’s scale and non-subsidized affordability goals and offered suggestions on other Edgewood locations where it might be more appropriate.

A rendering depicting the three building facades along Whitefoord Avenue that were ultimately scrapped. SLR Investments

The revised 90 and 98 Whitefoord site plan that was ultimately pulled. SLR Investments

The missing middle concept refers to housing that fills the gap between apartment complexes and single-family homes—the difference, in some cases, between subsidized housing and more expensive, market-rate living options. 

SLR Investments had marketed the initial, four-building project as being able to offer even market-rate apartments at 10 to 20 percent cheaper than newer buildings nearby at Edgewood’s redeveloped MARTA station.

Today, the duplex construction site borders an infill rental project, Finley Street Cottages, in the middle of Edgewood that managed to gain approval and finish construction earlier this year. Rents now start at $1,600 for the smallest apartments there.

A key difference is that the Finley Street project renovated two 1920s Craftsman bungalows and placed additional units in large yards behind them, rather than erecting ADUs behind new buildings that front the sidewalk, which experts in the field have previously said is illegal.  


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