After nearly five years of planning, officials with a historic downtown Atlanta church have confirmed to Urbanize Atlanta their goal of creating a “God-sized vision” for inclusive high-rise housing is officially moving forward.

Phase one of the 360 Peachtree Street project led by Atlanta First United Methodist Church has entered permitting phases with the city, according to Rev. Jasmine R. Smothers, the congregation’s lead pastor.

“We are grateful that we’ve been able to move this project forward in the midst of high construction costs,” Smothers wrote to Urbanize Atlanta via email.

The most prominent facet of phase one will be a 20-story building with 170 units of housing, designed with a curving façade that follows a bend of Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard, just south of the downtown Connector. 

The latest renderings illustrate how the phase-one tower will stand behind Atlanta First United Methodist Church (pictured at bottom left) along Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard. Moody Nolan Atlanta; courtesy of Atlanta First United Methodist Church

Beyond the residential portion, Smothers said phase one will include two new schools: Atlanta First Day School and a tuition-free school for homeless children.

Eighty-five percent of the apartments will be reserved as affordable housing, renting between 30, 60, and 80 percent of the area median income, according to the pastor.

“[Those] include some three-bedroom units so that families can live downtown!” Smothers wrote.

Permitting paperwork filed with the city for land development this week indicates 2,266 square feet of retail and a 72-vehicle parking deck are also in the phase-one mix. The two new schools will total just shy of 65,000 square feet, per that paperwork.  

Where phase one is planned to fit on the 1.8-acre property. Google Maps

Moody Nolan Atlanta; courtesy of Atlanta First United Methodist Church

Every iteration of Moody Nolan Atlanta-designed project renderings to date has indicated a larger high-rise building is planned for a future phase, consuming a parking lot at the church property’s southern edge.

The news comes nearly a year and ½ after Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens hosted a ceremonial groundbreaking at the church for the Faith-Based Development Initiative, which also served to commemorate the congregation’s 175th anniversary in Atlanta.

Church leaders first made headlines in 2019 by issuing a Request for Proposals that challenged developers to help them create stacked affordable housing on 1.8 acres next to the gothic-style sanctuary from 1903. Situated between Peachtree and West Peachtree streets, the land in question is currently home to pay parking lots, an unused outbuilding, and an education building, Atlanta UMC leadership has previously said.

Moody Nolan Atlanta; courtesy of Atlanta First United Methodist Church

Atlanta UMC’s development task force unanimously approved a joint venture in 2021 with Chicago-based nonprofit developer Evergreen Real Estate Group, citing that company’s track record of mission-driven, community-focused projects in urban environments.

Smothers credited the mayor’s office, the city’s Housing Office, Invest Atlanta, Atlanta Housing, and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs with helping set phase one in motion.

In the gallery above, find more context and visuals.


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