It hasn’t been the easiest path toward groundbreaking, but a unique eastside project with a repurposed Masonic Lodge at its core is now fully under construction—and tallying pre-leasing successes where Ormewood Park meets East Atlanta Village.
Mixed-use venture The Lodge initially broke ground with demolition work in 2021 at the southwest corner of Glenwood and Moreland avenue’s intersection, combining eight parcels that previously housed individual homes, a parking lot, and ancillary buildings.
Then came funding delays caused by ballooning construction costs in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. The site went idle for well over a year.
According to the development team, affordable housing specialists Rea Ventures more recently closed on development financing with the Georgia Department of Community Affairs to build 42 units of affordable housing on site.
That’s allowed the broader project to proceed, too, and infrastructure work and vertical construction now covers the block-sized site. Two residential pieces—including a four-story multifamily building over Glenwood Avenue—have topped out.
Rea Ventures is developing The Lodge’s separate residential component, called The Abbington at Ormewood Park. Prior to demolition work, the development team held communal design meetings and collected more than 600 surveys from residents to help determine what the community wanted built.
One nonnegotiable component for most survey respondents: affordable housing.
Across the site, plans call for the new four-story structure and two smaller buildings to include a mix of studios up to three-bedroom rentals. All 42 units are set to qualify as affordable housing to some degree, per developers.
For 30 years, rents will be restricted to no more than 30 percent of income for those making between 30 percent and 80 percent of area median income. Across the project, developers are aiming for 60 percent AMI on average for residents to ensure a mix of incomes.
That means the largest units, those three-bedroom options, are expected to rent from between $583 and $1,500, the development team has previously said.
Funding from the federal Low-Income Housing Tax Credit program, Invest Atlanta, and Partners for Home is helping to make the project financially feasible.
Commercial and office spaces at The Lodge, meanwhile, are being developed by a joint venture between Clark Property R+D, King Properties, Porch & Square, and RAD Group.
The project’s 33,000 square feet of office, retail, restaurant, and event space is currently 67 percent pre-leased via King Properties. Tenant announcements are expected to be coming soon, and local businesses are being sought to fill the few remaining commercial spaces, per developers.
“Given that over half of the commercial space consists of adaptive-reuse of the existing Masonic Lodge and a historic house, this piece will take less time to construct and will be sequenced to break ground late spring of this year,” according to a statement from developers provided to Urbanize Atlanta.
The project’s name pays homage to a former Masonic Lodge on Moreland Avenue that’s been vacant for years but remains structurally sound, developers have said. It was built in 1947 and used as a Masonic Grand Lodge upstairs with a Kroger at street level.
Neighboring the construction site, the Atlanta Department of Transportation realigned Glenwood Avenue to the south to eliminate a 70-foot offset that required drivers and cyclists to zigzag in the middle of the roadway while crossing between the two neighborhoods. (That city-planning goof was odd enough to make one artist’s book chronicling whacky city intersections.)
Project leaders say The Lodge is on pace to be finished by the end of 2024.
Find a closer look at where things stand, and what’s to come, in the gallery above.
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