The board of the Atlanta Housing authority Wednesday approved the sale of 1.8 acres of land near the Civic Center to Southface, the nonprofit that promotes sustainable and green building practices in the region.
The groundbreaking of Ashley 1 at Scholars Landing in the Atlanta University Center campus on Nov. 2 broke more than ground.
It broke the ice that had existed for the past nine years between the City of Atlanta, the Atlanta Housing authority and the Integral Group, a development company specializing in community transformations.
The board of the Atlanta Housing authority is looking to sell 1.8 acres of its Civic Center property to Southface Energy Institute, the environmental organization that promotes green building practices in metro Atlanta and Georgia.
According to the posted agenda of its meeting on Oct. 31, the housing authority is seeking “authorization to seek disposition approval” from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and “authorization to consummate the sale” of 1.8 acres of the Civic Center site.
The former CEO of the Atlanta Housing Authority – Renee Glover – has written a letter to Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms and members of the Atlanta City Council – seeking to open lines of communication with the new administration.
Glover’s letter also was an attempt to make the new mayor “aware of my record at AHA and know that the claims made against me by former Mayor Kasim Reed are false and defamatory.”
Applause and some shouts of joy answered a unanimous vote of the board of Atlanta’s housing authority on Wednesday afternoon — it came from Villages of East Lake residents and supporters who’ve been lobbying for a deal to finance neighborhood renovations.
A big yellow excavator at Spencer and Walnut streets in Vine City was still on Friday morning — but just for a while, so folks could enjoy a ceremony to mark the groundbreaking for an apartment being built there so that seniors can afford it.
The city of Atlanta is stepping back from a 2017 lawsuit against its former housing authority CEO, the Integral Group and its boss, a longtime and prominent city contractor who’s built mixed-income developments for the authority.
“The city has dismissed, without prejudice, its lawsuit against Integral Development and related corporate entities and individuals,” a city spokesperson confirmed in a text Thursday evening.
Recent actions by the Atlanta Housing Authority need to be viewed through a magnifying glass.
Despite owning hundreds of acres of land, AHA is spending millions of dollars to buy more land from the City of Atlanta, another public entity.
AHA couches these land deals as helping fulfill its goal to develop more affordable housing in the City of Atlanta. But over the past eight years, AHA has not developed any new housing units on its significant land holdings.
When Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms requested some two dozen top staff resignation letters for review earlier this month, the leader of the city’s housing authority referred the mayor to a board that dates from the previous administration.
Atlanta plans to rebuild 19 acres at the Civic Center as a mixed-use, mixed income-development. Some folks who came to a city meeting about it are saying they’re looking for walkability, connections to the rest of the city, and preserving the buildings that are on the site.
For 40 years, Southface has been leading the way in making Atlanta a more sustainable city.
The environmentally-focused nonprofit has been a pioneer in green building practices – and it deserves much of the credit for Atlanta’s national reputation as a city committed to energy and water conservation.
But now Southface is facing its own challenges – likely having to move from its headquarters, now on a .74-acre site along Pine Street near Piedmont, where it has been since 1995.