The century-old Atlanta First United Methodist Church could one day be flanked by hundreds of units of affordable housing, according to a new report by Urbanize Atlanta

Over a year ago, leaders of the circa-1903 house of worship put out the feelers for developers who might want to reinvigorate 1.8 acres of underutilized church property. Until this week, Urbanize reported, that effort had bore no fruit. 

The church recently entered into a joint venture with Evergreen Real Estate Group, a Chicago-based firm that “develops, acquires and manages affordable and market-rate multi-family communities across 10 states: Colorado, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, Virginia and Wisconsin,” per the company’s website

Evergreen’s foray into Atlanta promises a multi-phase project comprising church campus upgrades, an expansion of the on-site daycare center and the construction of two mixed-income towers packed with some 300 rentals. 

Details are still scant about the affordable housing component, although documents released this month by the development team show that 80 percent of those 300 units will be priced for lower-income households. 

Officials with Evergreen have not yet responded to Atlanta Civic Circle’s inquiries regarding how those units will be priced relative to the area median income (AMI) or how long it could take to deliver the housing component of the project. 

Development documents also indicate the church won’t have to come out of pocket to fund the endeavor. Additionally, the church doesn’t intend to sell the to-be-developed land to Evergreen; instead, it will lease the property to the firm. 

(Header image, via Google Maps: Atlanta First United Methodist Church)

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