A unique residential project in historic Oakland City is expected to officially move forward this week that could add another affordable-housing feather to Atlanta’s cap.

But its for-sale options aren’t exactly as affordable as they used to be.

The 36-unit community, Avenue at Oakland City, will be located off Murphy Avenue, about four blocks from the BeltLine’s Westside Trail. Formerly called Tucker Avenue Homes, the townhome venture has been billed as “truly affordable” and “affordable BeltLine living” since its inception three years ago. 

Affordable housing advocates Atlanta Land Trust, or ALT, are scheduled to host a groundbreaking ceremony Thursday at the site to mark the $12.8-million project’s beginning.

Layout of the initial site plan on Tucker Avenue. Avenue at Oakland City; Xmetrical

ALT officials say 29 of the 36 townhomes will be permanently affordable through the use of the community land trust model. (In a nutshell, that model entails the trust will own and maintain the land it’s secured from the real estate market, and when it comes time to move, the homeowner agrees to resell the residence at restricted, affordable pricing to another lower-income buyer, with the price determined by an Atlanta-specific formula. Capiche?)

The Avenue project “presents an urgent opportunity to mitigate gentrification resulting from public investments in the area" by using a "comprehensive, equity-driven approach that connects people, places, and quality of life,” according to an ALT announcement this week.

A site plan included on the Avenue’s website indicates the initial phase will have 15 homes. They’re expected to start delivering next summer.

Designed by the Xmetrical firm, the Avenue is being developed by ALT and Intown Builders, with $1.7-million in grant financing contributed by Invest Atlanta. As with other intown townhome projects backed by Invest Atlanta, marketing materials describe some units as being affordable for buyers earning 80 percent or less of the area’s median income.

Phase-one townhomes listed so far each have two bedrooms and two and ½ bathrooms in 1,086 square feet, spread across two stories and bookended by porches.

Currently, prices range from $208,340 to $260,400.

That’s a 22 and 28 percent price increase, respectively, over initial listing prices posted last year. Which, in this turbulent economy, was eons ago.  

Avenue at Oakland City; designs, Xmetrical

Larger three-bedroom units are expected to be available later, with prices starting in the $200,000s, per 2021 estimates. Strict income limits do apply for all households, officials have said.

As for location, the BeltLine’s Murphy Crossing redevelopment site—now a planned housing and jobs hub called Murphy Crossing by Culdesac—is located just over the MARTA tracks, and the Oakland City MARTA station is roughly a half-mile south.

Some Avenue buyers can also qualify for down payment assistance funds through Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing, and Atlanta Neighborhood Development Partnership, officials have said.

Initial community meetings about the townhome project were held in early 2019. Plans today indicate five, two-story residential buildings will eventually rise around a surface parking lot.

Head up to the gallery for more context and glimpses at what’s to come in Oakland City.

Oakland City news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)