Old Fourth Ward affordable housing build barrels ahead

The redevelopment of affordable housing along Atlanta’s Boulevard is moving forward in a significant way this month, continuing the decade-long quest to transform Boulevard’s reputation as a rundown corridor saddled with dilapidated public housing and vacant lots into that of a more vibrant, but still accessible, intown community.

Wingate Multifamily—a newly formed affiliate of Massachusetts-based Wingate Companies, a longtime major property owner on Boulevard—has kicked off demolition efforts for a project called Boulevard North in Old Fourth Ward.

Spanning from 579 Boulevard to 495 Boulevard Place, roughly two blocks from Ponce City Market, the site was previously occupied by four apartment buildings, each standing two stories, that have been razed. It’s located immediately south of an Amoco gas station at the southeast corner of Boulevard and North Avenue.

Wingate recently closed on the property in question and declared construction underway.

The four buildings Boulevard North is replacing. Courtesy of Invest Atlanta

For Wingate, Boulevard North marks the fourth phase of its redevelopment efforts along Boulevard—and part of the company’s broader “City Lights” masterplan for the neighborhood.

Plans call for a five-story building with 88 new units that Wingate calls “secure and well-appointed” for families previously residing in Bedford Pines, or what’s commonly described as the Southeast’s largest Section 8 housing project.

According to Invest Atlanta, which approved a $40-million lease purchase bond for Boulevard North in 2022, the new apartments will all be rented at rates attainable for households earning 60 percent of the area median income or less.

That translates to the smallest studio units (549 square feet) going for $1,275 monthly and the largest three-bedroom options (1,143 square feet) for $1,900, according to Invest Atlanta’s tabulations in 2022.

The development will be supported by HUD housing assistance, meaning residents won’t pay more than 30 percent of their income in rent, Invest Atlanta officials said at the time.

Boulevard North amenities will include a central laundry facility on each floor, a fitness center, private courtyard, after-school programs, and a business center with computer stations. The location is also convenient to bus transportation, officials have noted.

Wingate is forecasting construction on Boulevard North to be finished in July 2025. When that happens, 387 of the total 733 units that comprise Bedford Pines will have undergone redevelopment, according to the company.

Meanwhile, Wingate expects to close on the property for a subsequent phase of development called North Block in December.

The developer is also applying for 4 percent tax credits through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs for the final phase, City Lights South.

All told, roughly 700 more units of affordable and market-rate housing are in the City Lights pipeline along the Boulevard corridor, according to Wingate.

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