The City of Atlanta’s economic development agency is on the hunt for developers interested in building affordable housing across the street from City Hall. 

City officials announced on Wednesday that Invest Atlanta had issued a request for proposals (RFP), calling on firms to pitch ideas for building out 104 Trinity Avenue, a 1.3-acre city-owned property that today sits vacant, save for a few parking spots.

The RFP is what the urbanist bloggers at ThreadATL called “encouraging,” demanding 40 percent of the new residences be dedicated for affordable housing. Twenty percent of the units would be earmarked for residents earning 60 percent of the area median income (AMI) or less, and at least 15 percent would be market-rate rentals.

“While we don’t know exactly how many units might be built, we think it could be in the hundreds,” Josh Humphries, the city’s director of housing and community development, told Atlanta Civic Circle on Friday. 

This could be a considerable win for housing affordability in downtown and the city at large, where, experts say, units priced for renters earning around 50 percent of the AMI or less is urgently needed. 

While the RFP says “the primary goal of this development is to increase the affordable rental housing stock and to provide greater access to housing at all levels of affordability,” part of the project’s allure is its density promise. 

“The proposals should aim to create as much density while maximizing affordable units across diverse income levels,” the document says, adding, “The goal is to have no on-site vehicle parking.”

If that goal is met, the development would be a rarity for downtown, which is littered with parking decks and unsightly surface parking lots. 

In this way, the Trinity Street development harkens back to the density and transit-oriented focus of recent legislation by Atlanta City Councilman Amir Farokhi. 

Farokhi’s trio of proposals seek to densify residential areas near transit stations and boost housing affordability, and this project site is located a stone’s throw from the Five Points MARTA station. 

The development could also include restaurants, retail and office space, as well as recreational offerings and coworking space. 

Developers have until Oct. 13 to respond to the RFP.

Tell us what you think about the prospect of some much-needed affordable housing in the heart of the city in the comments below.

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