The team behind a unique East Atlanta project that would meld a range of new development with scenic woodlands is seeking partners to help pull it off.
At last check in March, urban infill developer Clark Property R+D was assembling properties, collecting community input, and finalizing designs for a total of almost 12 vacant acres along Moreland Avenue, situated about a mile due south of East Atlanta Village.
The project, Skyhaven Quarry, would encompass a former quarry site and commercial parcels along Moreland Avenue that include a shuttered Family Dollar and a cell tower near Skyhaven Road. The developer teamed with Xmetrical design architects, Perez Planning + Design landscape architects, and others with a goal of weaving retail and a variety of housing—including affordable options—with trails, nature conservation, and public space.
Eleven months later, Clark Property R+D’s principal Jesse Clark tells Urbanize Atlanta the project is still moving forward and that more recent commercial real estate listings—and detailed renderings—are attempts to find a development partner for the residential portions.
“The market pretty much shut down the second half of last year and over the holidays, so we’re now in the process of picking back up discussions with potential development partners,” Clark wrote via email. “We should have one selected by this spring [or] summer.”
About 7 acres of the site are developable, spread across five separate lots. (A Papa John’s Pizza location fronting Moreland is a holdout, dividing the project into two sections on that busy road.)
Those five “turnkey” sites are now entitled for up to 180 apartments, 57 townhomes, 16 cottage-style homes, and 20,000 square feet of commercial space, according to listings.
More than 700 feet of Moreland Avenue frontage is described as a selling point, in that it provides “excellent visibility” to some 25,000 vehicles daily.
With its 40-foot cliffs, the abandoned and overgrown quarry would be at the center of the project, with new trails and Ripplewater Creek wending through. Including that would create a “significant park and trail network” in what Clark considers a “park desert,” where residents have limited access to greenspace.
Set farther back, on the opposite side of the quarry, the cottage homes would range in size from 1,200 to 1,500 square feet, officials said last year.
Parking would be a mix of surface and podium spaces tucked off Moreland Avenue. Current rents in the area won’t support the cost of building a parking garage, Clark has said.
Skyhaven Quarry also has potential to be combined with a 14-acre passive greenspace owned by the DeKalb County School District, located immediately east of the quarry, where Skyhaven Elementary School was demolished in 2016. (Find the latest renderings and more context in the gallery above.)
Clark Property R+D is the same company spearheading The Lodge project where East Atlanta Village meets Ormewood Park, which is incorporating a former Masonic lodge into its master-planned mix beside a realigned Moreland Avenue intersection. Vertical construction has yet to begin there.
Other signs of developer bullishness on Moreland Avenue are located farther south.
The first phase of the mixed-use Halidom project opened with offices just south of Ormewood Park in March, with IST Management Services’ new international headquarters signed as a tenant.
And just south of there, active intown developer Empire Communities is moving forward with a 32-acre shopping center redevelopment on Moreland Avenue. Plans calls for nearly 700 apartments and townhomes, a network of greenspaces, and retail for a project now called “Moreland & Custer.”
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