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ATL Business Chronicle Maria Saporta

Column: State gives Grove Park apartment development major boost

Grove Park Debra Edelson and Wendy Stewart in Grove Park (Photo by Maria Saporta)

By Maria Saporta
As published in the Atlanta Business Chronicle on Dec. 14, 2018

The Westside community of Grove Park has just received a major boost from the state.

The Georgia Department of Community Affairs has awarded the Grove Park Foundation and its partner, Columbia Residential, 9 percent Low Income Housing Tax Credits to build a new 110-unit, mixed-income, multi-family housing development.

The residential development is part of a larger neighborhood revitalization strategy for Grove Park, which also includes initiatives in education, community wellness and financial empowerment in partnership with Grove Park residents. Grove Park is part of the Purpose Built Communities network.

Currently, the Grove Park neighborhood is 97 percent single-family homes, with limited offerings for affordable, multi-family housing.

Grove Park

Debra Edelson and Wendy Stewart in Grove Park (Photo by Maria Saporta)

The Grove Park Gardens development will offer 75 percent of its units to residents earning 50 percent of Atlanta’s area median income – ensuring options for housing affordability.

It will be the first multi-family rental development built in decades in the community, and it comes at a time when Grove Park residents face a complex set of market pressures, from the development of the future Westside Reservoir Park, to the Beltline trails, and other commercial and residential developments that will bring new residents seeking to live in-town.

“Increasing the quantity and quality of affordable and market rate housing in Grove Park is a critical step in creating more opportunity for the residents of the neighborhood,” said Debra Edelson, Executive director of the Grove Park Foundation. “This will help in our collective mission of working with local partners, leaders and residents to create a more healthy, equitable and vibrant community.”

Christopher Nunn, the state’s community affairs commissioner, endorsed the project.

“Grove Park Gardens epitomizes DCA’s commitment to housing as a platform for community and resident success,” Nunn said in a statement. “DCA is proud to continue this partnership with Purpose Built Communities as the Grove Park Foundation works to revitalize this historic Atlanta neighborhood.”

Grove Park Gardens development will encompass 110 apartments and will feature one, two- and three-bedroom units. It will feature modern units, a fitness center, computer center and a playground.  The development will consist of primarily garden-style apartments, and it should be completed in 2020.

“As the city of Atlanta continues to grow and advance, so does the vital need for quality mixed-income housing, and we can’t leave our neighbors behind,“ said Noel Khalil, founding partner and CEO at Columbia Residential.

The Grove Park Gardens development will feature modern units, a fitness center, computer center, and a playground.

Gift in memory of Wilton D. Looney

Emory University has received $2 million to name the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center Medical Directorship after Wilton D. Looney. The gift was made by Rollins Inc., RPC Inc., Marine Products Corp. and Rollins family members. Looney, who passed away in May 2018, served as a director on all three of the Rollins’ company boards – beginning in 1975 and retiring in 2013.

The gift establishes a fund to name and support the directorship of the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center and its research efforts and to enhance the Looney director’s strategic vision for the center. Robert A. Guyton, MD, professor of surgery in Emory University School of Medicine, is currently director of the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center.

“Wilton Looney was deeply engaged in the Carlyle Fraser Heart Center from its inception, and his many friends and associates in the Rollins companies wanted to honor his legacy through a gift that would not only name the center’s directorship, but also contribute to strengthening and carrying out its future vision,” said Amy Rollins Kreisler. “Mr. Looney’s leadership and wise counsel were fundamental to the success of the Rollins companies, and his wife, Martha, and our families enjoyed a deep and abiding friendship.”


Maria Saporta

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.


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