The trend of build-to-rent communities spotted both intown and OTP is continuing with a sizable DeKalb County project that hopes to capitalize on investments in The Mall at Stonecrest and Georgia’s electric vehicle industry.  

The City of Stonecrest has granted land development permits for Alpharetta-based Parkland Communities to move forward with a venture company leaders are calling one of the largest build-to-rent communities in Georgia. Another section will feature for-sale housing. 

Plans call for adding the 389 single-family houses and townhomes on woodsy land where Hayden Quarry Road meets Turner Hill Road, just south of The Mall at Stonecrest and the Interstate 20 corridor in DeKalb’s most populous city, which counts roughly 60,000 residents.

The 260 townhomes will be for-rent, while the remaining 129 standalone houses will be for sale, according to Parkland Communities reps. Estimated sales and rent prices haven’t been specified.

Courtesy of Parkland Communities Inc.

The location is walkable (roughly a half-mile) to New Black Wall Street Market, a shopping and dining concept with 100 minority entrepreneurs that opened in a vacant Target near the mall last year.

Meanwhile, Stonecrest Mall is undergoing redevelopment that aims to reposition it as a regional tourism destination and jobs hub, 20 miles east of Atlanta. An aquarium concept called SeaQuest is open, and a two-story, $17-million remake of a former Sears called Priví announced 12 new tenants last month, with hopes of opening its food hall, health complex, events spaces, and other components this year and next.

Another perk of living in the area, according to Parkland Communities, is a planned MARTA Park and Ride station across the street from the forthcoming houses (called “Crestview Pointe”) and townhomes (“Crestwind Township.”)  

The site's location, in relation to The Mall at Stonecrest and Interstate 20. Google Maps

Developers also point to automaker Rivian’s plans to build a $5-billion manufacturing plant across 2,000 acres in nearby Morgan County, though that project has been delayed by supply chain issues, a wobbling economic forecast, and a lawsuit filed by a handful of neighbors.

Jim Jacobi, Parkland Communities president, said the location would provide “the perfect reverse commute for any of the 7,500 employees at the new [Rivian] plant, just 25 minutes away” in a project announcement this week.

Planned location of the nearly 400-home project along the Interstate 20 corridor in DeKalb County. Google Maps

Parkland says its goal is to provide “missing middle market” housing in a “thriving area” at more attainable prices, for both homeowners seeking to put down roots and renters who appreciate the flexibility of not being tied to mortgages.

Elsewhere in the metro, the build-to-rent model (or BTR) has drawn criticism for claiming available land that could have gone to for-sale housing, where first-time homebuyers could start to build wealth via equity.

Parkland’s BTR properties dot Atlanta’s suburbs. In Stonecrest, the homebuilder says onsite perks will include nature trails and green spaces, sidewalks, a clubhouse, and a swimming pool, plus a playfield and tot lot.

• With a dozen new tenants, Stonecrest mall redo is ‘gaining momentum’ (Urbanize Atlanta)