- Proposed Development Projects Adjacent to Town Green
Proposed Development Projects Adjacent to Town Green
Avondale Estates Town Green wins the Urban Land Institute of Atlanta's Development of Excellence in the Public Realm Award. Read more...
Development team poised to break ground in the fourth quarter of 2023 on the commercial development fronting the Town Green. Read more...
The Downtown Development Authority unanimously approved the development contract for the Town Green Mixed-Use Project. Read more...
Overview of Developments Surrounding the Town Green
The Board of Mayor and Commissioners (BOMC) and the Downtown Development Authority (DDA) reviewed multiple development proposals for the land owned by the city and/or DDA that is adjacent to the Town Green.
- diversify the city’s tax base,
- reduce the burden on single-family residential homes as the primary source of city revenue, and
- position Avondale Estates as a primary destination within the Atlanta metropolitan area for dining, retail and entertainment.
After careful vetting, the BOMC and DDA have decided to advance three development concepts and a public/private parking deck which will help the city realize the vision of its Downtown Master Plan:
- a two-story commercial development fronting the Town Green on N. Avondale Road with multiple tenants including restaurants with outdoor dining overlooking the park, retail and office space,
- a residential townhome community comprised of approximately 10 live/work units located along Lake Street and Franklin Street across from the Town Green,
- a full-service, boutique hotel with ground-floor retail and a public roof-top restaurant and/or bar, and
- a public/private parking deck to support the three developments listed above, local businesses and visitors to the Town Green.
To learn more about these projects and their status, review the frequently asked questions below. Stay up-to-date as progress is made by viewing the articles at the top of this page under "Latest News on the Town Green Developments."
- What are the proposed projects?
Four projects are proposed or in development for city/DDA-owned properties:Project 1:
Town Green Market Development: In January of 2023, the DDA unanimously approved the development contract for a 24,000-square-foot mixed-use commercial development being built by the development team of Fabric Developers, LLC and Healey Weatherholtz Properties. The development, now called The Dale, consists of two adjacent two-story buildings fronting the Town Green next to the open-air market pavilion along N. Avondale Road. In addition to at least two restaurants, the new buildings will include a rooftop bar and event space on the second level overlooking the park, retail opportunities fronting N. Avondale Road, and second-floor space devoted to a variety of tenants including co-working or office space. Restroom facilities will be available to the public during the Town Green’s operating hours. Construction is on track to begin in the last quarter of 2023 or early 2024.
Townhome Community: Proposed by Fabric Developers, this residential townhome community is comprised of approximately 10 live/work units located along Lake Street and Franklin Street across from the Town Green. Unit size is projected to be between 2,500-3,000 square feet. This project is contingent on the development of a public/private parking deck. When the townhomes are built, they will provide active use along the park edge and camouflage the deck.
Boutique Hotel: This development at the corner of N. Avondale Road and Lake Street includes a 90-room, full-service, boutique hotel with ground-floor retail and a public roof-top restaurant and/or bar. The project is in the early concept phase as the potential developer completes due diligence to understand the design and financing alternatives for the project.Project 4:Parking Deck: A 185-space public/private parking deck that will support the developments mentioned above, local businesses and visitors to the Town Green is proposed at the intersection of Lake and Franklin Streets in the rear of the proposed hotel property. Most of the parking spaces in this four-story deck will be reserved for public use to meet the demands of visitors to the park and the adjacent restaurants. A limited number of spaces will be dedicated to the live-work units and the hotel.
- Why are these projects good for the City? As a resident, what’s in it for me?
These projects are consistent with the community-designed Downtown Master Plan that guides smart investments and development.
The advantages of these developments to the city are multi-faceted.
Thee projects are:
- Place makers: high-quality projects built to be enjoyed by residents and visitors alike that activate and energize the downtown.
- Revenue generators: projects that will diversify the city’s tax base so that single-family residential properties will carry less of the city’s tax burden.
The Town Green Market Development:
- Sets the tone for architectural quality in the downtown.
- Attracts the kinds of restaurants and retail that will activate the Town Green and the remainder of the downtown.
The Townhome Community:
- Activates the park with people and businesses day and night.
- Diversifies housing and office options available in the City.
- Adds to the customer base to support desired retail.
The Boutique Hotel:
- Creates a built-in, captured customer base to support retail and drive spending in our business district.
- Provides multiple sources of revenue through property and hotel taxes.
The Public/Private Parking Deck:
- Provides long-term parking solutions for the downtown.
- Is pivotal to enabling these public-private partnerships to move forward.
- Is there a hotel group associated with the boutique hotel and what size will it be?
In July of 2023, the DDA entered a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with developer Apsilon Hotels for the hotel and parking garage project. This four-month, non-binding agreement outlines the basic understanding of the proposed development and documentation necessary for the DDA to sign a binding development contract. During the MOU period, the DDA is committed not to seek or work with other potential suitors while working through the design and development details needed for both parties to sign a development contract. Both the DDA and the development team are still in an early conceptual phase, and the MOU does not guarantee that the project will prove to be viable.
The development team is talking to multiple hotel groups which are confidential at this point. Each hotel group has a boutique brand within its portfolio.
The development contracts would include approval of the specific brand, and although consistent with other boutique hotels, this one would be given an Avondale-specific name which has yet to be determined. The advantage of being associated with a particular brand is that it ties into a national reservation system making the development much more viable and secure.
- Is this a done deal?
The development contract for Project 1, the Town Green commercial development, was signed in January of 2023 with the development team of Fabric Developers, LLC and Healey Weatherholtz Properties. Construction is on track to begin in the last quarter of 2023 or early 2024.
Concept plans for Project 2, the Town Homes, are developed. Since the construction of these units is dependent upon and would follow the construction of a parking deck, a development contract has not been written or signed.
In July of 2023, the DDA entered a memorandum of understanding with developer Apsilon Hotels for Project 3, the hotel.
The city and the DDA are working with the development teams to determine the most cost-effective way to design, finance and stage the development of the parking deck.
These development proposals are still undergoing due diligence. We are unified in our excitement about these projects and remain cautiously optimistic.
- Who is approving the design of these buildings?
Each of the proposed projects will be subject to Recommended Storefront Design Guidelines and Prohibited Use Restrictions set forth by the BOMC consistent with the Downtown Master Plan.
- What are the financial implications?
These projects are subject to design and architectural guidelines and restrictions critical to creating a sense of place. Using quality materials and tailoring a design for a specific community rather than pulling a generic "Everywhere USA" plan off the shelf is expensive. Getting the type and quality of development the city desires has a cost – but it will pay huge dividends for generations.
Fortunately, previous city and DDA leaders have provided the tools to invest in this placemaking initiative. The sale of a DDA-owned building often referred to as the Department of Juvenile Justice building created investable funds for the DDA. The Tax Allocation District (TAD) created years ago is anticipated to yield additional tax revenues from the downtown area to invest back into the city. Briefly speaking, in a TAD, county property taxes generated above a baseline level, which has now been exceeded, stay IN the city, and can be used on infrastructure investment back in the district.
- How are you going to fund a parking deck that is reserved for the public?
The single most difficult financial hurdle is the parking deck. The cost of the parking deck is currently estimated to be between $5 and $6 million – a significant sum. No developer could or would absorb that cost, as the deck is mostly a public amenity. The city and the DDA are currently exploring different avenues to fund the parking deck using a variety of different tools.
- Are the live-work units going to require a public investment?
The developer will pay market value for the land to build the live-work units, and there are no public loans for this project. The parking for those units will be absorbed into the parking deck.
- Does the hotel need additional public investment?
The financing of the hotel is being studied now. It is unclear whether there will be any public investment needed to catalyze the capitalization of this project. A cost/benefit analysis of the hotel will factor in the timeline to recoup any investment and the anticipated increase in revenue long-term from real estate taxes, a hotel tax, and other fees. This analysis will be part of the decision on whether to move forward with the project or not.
- What is the proposed structure for these public-private partnerships?
STEP 1: An Inter-Governmental Agreement (IGA) adopted on May 11, 2022, between the BOMC and the DDA provides the DDA control of all the parcels mentioned above allowing the DDA to use its status as a development authority to engage with the developers. This agreement will outline the requirements set forth by the BOMC/DDA for these properties. It will include covenants for design guidelines, desired and prohibited uses of the properties, stipulations for the flow of funds, and ultimate ownership of key components of the parcels.
STEP 2: Memorandums of Understanding (MOUs) between the DDA and the respective developers are not binding but enable the development teams to confidently move forward with the design and financing of their projects. The MOUs will again be subject to discussion and a vote in a public meeting.
STEP 3: The DDA will contract with each of the development teams to execute these projects. These development contracts will form the basis of governance for the development projects' financing, design, construction, occupancy, and use.
- What is the timeline and current status of the projects?
Here is the development timetable with steps taken by the BOMC and DDA:
- May 2022: the BOMC and DDA entered into an Intergovernmental Agreement
- January 2023: DDA entered into a development agreement with Fabric Developers, LLC and Healey Weatherholtz Properties for the Project 1 commercial development. Construction is scheduled to start in the fourth quarter of 2023 or early in 2024.
- July 2023: DDA entered into a memorandum of understanding with Apsilon Hotels for Project 3: the hotel.
- The DDA will continue to discuss, develop and consider MOUs and contracts with the development teams in subsequent DDA meetings.