A year and ½ after its ceremonial groundbreaking, a project that’s replacing a vacant church with relatively dense standalone houses is actually under construction.

Site work has recently begun for JD Kirkwood, the latest infill project of many to move forward on Memorial Drive. It’s taking a corner lot where a small church property—the former home of Zion Pentecostal Evangelistic Church of God in Christ—was demolished last year.

Five modern-style, single-family houses will replace the church on the Kirkwood site, situated where Memorial meets East Lake Terrace near Drew Charter School. Initially pitched by JDW Development, the project first came before the Kirkwood Neighbors Organization in summer 2021, and as of March last year appeared to be green-lighted for full construction, but the site went quiet soon after.

Sara Lee Parker, a Realtor with Keller Williams Intown Atlanta who’s leading sales, says the property has changed hands in the meantime.

The JD Kirkwood project's 2246 Memorial Drive location, due east of downtown. Google Maps

Foundation construction across all five lots as seen in recent days. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

A new Atlanta-based development team consisting of JB Development Partners and Bespoke Developments, the latter a residential firm with projects dotted around the city, is now leading the project, according to its website. It was designed by Xmetrical, an architecture firm with modern-style homes and commercial ventures across Atlanta.

All three of those companies are also behind the under-construction Ten 5 Summerhill townhomes project on Georgia Avenue.

Previous plans called for the JD Kirkwood homes to each have four bedrooms and span between 2,600 and 3,000 square feet. Prices were expected to begin in the low $900,000s.

Parker says those plans remain mostly unchanged, though the three homes fronting Memorial Drive will be slightly smaller to allow for more pricing options and homes with three bedrooms plus offices. Pricing has yet to be determined—and likely won’t be decided until the homes near completion in the first quarter of 2024, Parker says.

How the five modern-style houses are planned to meet the northeast corner of East Lake Terrace and Memorial Drive. A MARTA bus stop is also located at the corner. JD Kirkwood; designs, Xmetrical

Plans for the main living level of an open-floorplan unit. JD Kirkwood; designs, Xmetrical

According to earlier blueprints, each home will have two-car, rear-entry garages. Outdoor spaces will include rear decks off the main living levels, and rooftop terraces on the third floors with views across nearby blocks.  

On blocks immediately south of the JD Kirkwood project are Drew Charter School facilities and the East Lake YMCA. Like another property across the street, the 2246 Memorial Drive site was home to a church that hadn’t been used regularly for years.

As with Toll Brothers’ Oxley Edgewood project, the Empire Paintbox townhomes and 103 under-construction townhomes elsewhere in Kirkwood, and the 1200 Ponce venture claiming Druid Hills United Methodist Church, among others, it’s a case of developers moving in to claim land from an intown congregation willing to sell and move on.

Head up to the gallery above for more context and previews of what’s to come in Kirkwood.


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