Following weeks of tips and rumors, it was reported on these pages last week that a longstanding auto body business was vacating its primetime acreage a block from the BeltLine, signaling that one of Memorial Drive’s last big landowner holdouts near the Eastside Trail was caving to development dollars.

Today, the plans for replacing Reid’s Body Shop, a Memorial Drive staple for some 68 years, became clearer.

Toro Development Company has closed on the purchase of the 1.64-acre Reynoldstown property to develop a 186-unit apartment venture its calling “The Reid,” in homage to the former auto shop and salvage yard. (A few blocks north, coincidentally or not, Empire Communities’ Stein Steel project also echoes the name of the industrial property its replacing.)

The Reid's Body Shop property in the context of recent Memorial Drive development and, at far left, the BeltLine's Eastside Trail. Google Maps

The Reid will be built on a sloped site next to popular diner Home Grown—TDC officials specify in an announcement the restaurant is not being displaced—at the corner of Memorial Drive and Holtzclaw Street, just north of the Madison Yards mixed-use complex. No new retail is planned.

Instead, TDC officials say ground-floor units will be “designed to engage the street-level and support pedestrian activity,” according to a project announcement today.

The apartment mix calls for a range of studios up to two-bedroom units, with a pool on the roof. Fifteen percent of the rentals will be reserved as affordable housing—as required by the BeltLine’s inclusionary zoning ordinance—at 80 percent of the area’s median income. 

The first conceptual look at plans for The Reid along Memorial Drive. Toro Development Company; designs, Dynamik Design

Construction is scheduled to begin in the first quarter of next year, with the first units delivering in the third quarter of 2024, according to TDC officials.

Headed by Mark Toro, a former North American Properties executive, The Reid will mark the seasoned developers' fourth multifamily project along the Eastside Trail corridor. Others include Edge OTB, Anthem on Ashley, and Camden Fourth Ward (formerly called BOHO4W, to the chagrin of armchair urbanist legions).

The Reid will mark the company’s first new multifamily development, while a mixed-use venture announced last month for 43 acres in suburban Johns Creek continues to move forward.

Family-owned Reid’s Body Shop had operated at 952 Memorial Drive SE since the mid-1950s, but the family brought the property to market in late 2021, bowing to the pressure of multifamily residential development for which the acreage has already been zoned. In a statement, business owner Robert Reid said he’s honored the apartment project will reflect what came before it, adding: “Our family has been an active part of the community for a long time, and we’re glad the new owners care about the history of the property. We’re excited to see this become a great new place for people to live.”  

The property's purchase price wasn't disclosed. 

The Memorial Drive auto shop and salvage yard, at right, as seen last month. Google Maps

TDC officials said they also plan to incorporate memorabilia from the shop “as an important part of the project’s design.” They expect to submit a Special Administrative Permit, or SAP, to start moving development forward in coming days.   

“With Home Grown and the BeltLine as our neighbors,” said TDC partner Richard Munger, “this site is incredibly special, and we’re taking great care in creating a place that helps address the significant demand for housing in Atlanta.”

Recent Reynoldstown news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)