By Sean Keenan
Back in February, the firm orchestrating the redevelopment of a nearly 70-acre swath of land neighboring the Westside’s Bellwood Quarry suddenly stopped discussing plans for affordable housing with the City of Atlanta, according to an Atlanta Journal-Constitution investigation.
At that point, the general public was still under the impression that Urban Creek Partners, the development firm led by former Atlanta Braves star Mark Teixeira that planned to invigorate the area with restaurants, retail and residences, dubbing it “Quarry Yards,” would have earmarked 40 percent of its residential units for affordable housing.
Urban Creek backed out of affordable housing talks because the company was negotiating the sale of its property to tech colossus Microsoft, Bisnow Atlanta reported.
Now, with Microsoft sitting on the property, the fate of housing affordability in the area is punctuated with a massive question mark.
The tech giant has remained silent on its plans for its new Westside land, and company representatives did not respond to an emailed request for comment from SaportaReport.
Still, even before Microsoft took control of the property, Urban Creek and city officials had been engaged in what the AJC called a “tug of war” over how to pay for the affordable housing component of the redevelopment.
The developer asserted that it needed more financial support from the city to make the affordable housing element worthwhile, the paper reported.
Teixeira told Bisnow, “The negotiations with the city had nothing to do with our sale of Quarry Yards.”
Now, the fate of the property, as well as the state of gentrification’s push into the Westside, hangs in limbo.
(Header image, via Urban Creek Partners: A rendering of the now-defunct Quarry Yards project.)
Saporta constantly focuses on affordable housing deals between developers and the city, with the overall insinuation that it’s the developers that are trying to rip off the people. However, its reporters and general NIMBYism that holds progress back. The fact is that Atlanta has the least dense housing of any major US city. We just need more development with 15-20% affordable units, and we can solve so many problems, but so many articles I read tend to imply that 15% affordable units isn’t enough. It is enough if we let developers build.