Underground Atlanta revitalization master plans unveiled

ATLANTA. -- The final plans for Underground Atlanta's new development have been revealed.

Invest Atlanta provided 11Alive with the schematics and concept of what the new Underground Atlanta is to look like. The plans initially came from WRS Real Estate, who will handle the purchasing of property. 

The property for much of the plan must still be acquired. An estimated cost for the purchase of the property is about $34.6 million. The master plan includes:

  • 1,000 apartments within 6 total towers
  • 2,189 new parking spaces
  • 320 hotel rooms in 1 tower
  • 345,028 square feet of retail space. This will include a grocery area as well as two other spaces reserved for "Jr. Anchors" (or smaller stores in the vein of Barnes and Noble or Ulta Beauty)

A representative of the mayor's office told 11Alive that the plans are not completely final but they "feel like we are moving in the right direction. We always knew this would be hard, that's why no one else has gotten this done.”

Real estate attorney Ken Kraft -- who is working as legal counsel between the Downtown Development Authority (a branch of Invest Atlanta) and WRS -- informed 11Alive that WRS is going through with the project even without public funds. Note that without public funding, the housing portion was optional yet it was included anyway.

 

Kraft also said the master plan itself still has to be approved by the DDA, who will vote on it sometime next week. The organization is also allowed to cite any changes themselves. Further, the city requires that affordable housing be set aside. These parameters include 15% of residential units for households earning 80% of the area median income; 10% of residential units for households earning 60%. 

Historic preservation is also considered as a portion of the area will be untouched. This includes Upper Alabama, the three sides of the "Block Building" and northeastern corner of Lower Alabama and Lower Pryor St -- the latter two for public and bicycle access. Finally, a community engagement plan will have to be created.

Phase 1 construction for the new Underground is set for October 2018 but that is subject to change.

© 2017 WXIA-TV


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