A vocal group of Peoplestown residents is vowing to continue fighting a multi-pronged new development that aims to transform vacant warehouses and polluted land near the Atlanta BeltLine corridor into a hub of eateries and jobs, with hundreds of housing options.

Located south of the former Turner Field area, Peoplestown has seen multifamily construction explode in recent years. Projects such as the 435-unit Maverick have aimed to capitalize on BeltLine cachet, while others (the topped-out Skyline venture and Stanton Park Apartments among them) are geared toward filling an affordable housing need.

But some residents feel enough is enough in their tight-knit, historically working-class neighborhood. Especially now that the area’s first food hall, Terminal South, is under construction, with apartments in the pipeline next door.

One head of the Peoplestown resistance group, Alison Johnson, told 11Alive news they fear the outside investment will translate to gentrification that forces longtime residents out—and that an influx of jobs developers are promising will be merely “service jobs” with wages that won’t cover typical housing costs in the city.  

Terminal South’s developer, Stafford Properties, is moving plans forward next to the food hall at 1111 Ridge Ave. for 350 apartments, with about 53 of them deemed affordable. Former uses for the vacant property include an iron metal works and coal yard. (Stafford says the land has entered a Brownfield Program to ensure its cleanup meets Environmental Protection Agency standards.)

Designs for the 1111 Ridge Ave. apartment venture. Stafford Properties

Stafford Properties

A MoveOn petition launched by developers has generated 214 online signatures in support of the apartment project as of this writing.

According to Stafford’s website, the pushback stems from a “small but vocal” group, as members of the Peoplestown Redevelopment Board have fought to keep the Ridge Avenue land zoned for industrial uses. 

That didn’t pan out. The City of Atlanta’s Zoning Review Board on Thursday voted to approve rezoning of the Ridge Avenue property to allow for mixed-use development. That followed majority approval votes from both of Peoplestown’s neighborhood groups—the Peoplestown Revitalization Corporation and the Peoplestown Neighborhood Association. But according to 11Alive, Stafford narrowly lost the Neighborhood Planning Unit vote for the project.

Johnson told the news station her group “will continue to fight [the apartment development] until our community gets what it deserves."

Overview of the site where MARTA's first bus-rapid transit line, the BeltLine's Southside Trail, and Terminal South's food hall and future apartments are planned to converge. Courtesy of Stafford Properties

Courtesy of Stafford Properties

Developers say Terminal South will create up to 250 jobs for the area, with almost all businesses signed on to operate there (95 percent) being minority-owned. Each tenant is also required to contribute to a needs-based scholarship fund for Peoplestown residents expected to generate between $35,000 and $40,000 per year, according to Stafford officials.  

Stafford’s goal is to deliver the rental community in early 2027. By then, the BeltLine expects to be finished with constructing the nearby Southside Trail corridor, linking trails on the west side of town to the east.

The apartments, developers contend, will help address Atlanta’s housing shortage without displacing residents.

Melissa Ahrendt, Stafford’s executive director of real estate, told 11Alive the next step for the apartments is to gain Atlanta City Council approval. She plans to continue seeking more funding sources to make additional affordable housing units at the Ridge Avenue project financially viable.


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