Images: 100-home project quickly sprouts on former church site

Seemingly overnight, a sizable infill project that’s bringing more than 100 townhomes to a former vacant church property has sprung up where Kirkwood meets East Atlanta, roughly four miles due east of downtown.

After breaking ground in summer 2022 and demolishing the fire-damaged Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral property, the Urban Realty Partners development has topped out several buildings in the 200 block of Clifton Street, between quickly developing Memorial Drive and Interstate 20 on Kirkwood’s southern fringes. Alonzo A. Crim High School and its sports fields are located across the street from the roughly 4 acres in question.

When we last checked in on the 103-unit project in June, no vertical construction had begun.

Looking north across new buildings along Clifton Street. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Clifton Street frontage at the Urban Realty Partners project this week. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Urban Realty promotional materials indicate the project will be called 277 Clifton for its address.

Plans call for some townhomes to be divided as one-bedroom apartments on a single level with about 650 square feet; the largest will be more traditional, stacked townhome dwellings in the 1,700-square-foot range, as designed by the Lessard Design firm, which also drew up rental townhomes slowly taking shape on Arizona Avenue.

The acreage is being maxed out, which doesn’t allow much room for greenspace, so amenities are being concentrated around a centralized communal building, project leaders told Urbanize Atlanta last year. Those will include coworking spaces, a pool, and a common room, all in an amenity building with midcentury-inspired design.

Initial plans called for the first 277 Clifton townhomes to start delivering late this year, with others continuing to come online sequentially for several months after that. Listing services indicate no 277 Clifton homes have come up for sale yet. Pricing hasn’t been specified.

The community is replacing a 1980s church property once headed by prominent pastor Wiley Jackson and operated as part of World in Action Ministries.  

The west-facing flank of the new community where Gospel Tabernacle Cathedral formerly stood. Josh Green/Urbanize Atlanta

Site plan for the 103-unit townhome community and its amenities.Courtesy of Urban Realty Partners

In September 2019, a fire ripped through the abandoned structure in the early morning hours, collapsing parts of the roof and façade. By late 2021, passersby were witnessing public urination and blatant drug use on the property, according to code enforcement complaints.

Developers enlisted the help of homeless outreach services, Atlanta police, and city officials to assist those being displaced, Urban Realty officials previously told Urbanize Atlanta.

According to RealtyTrac, the property sold in November 2021 for $4.35 million. The former church was built in 1987, per LoopNet records.

Urban Realty is the Atlanta-based firm behind Memorial Dive’s Gibson by Radius project and Grant Park’s GlenCastle. Its other projects in the Memorial Drive corridor include The Leonard apartments and Oakland Park condos in Grant Park.

The former church’s Clifton Street lot between Interstate 20 and Memorial Drive, where Kirkwood meets East Atlanta.Google Maps

The 277 Clifton project continues a couple of intown trends especially prevalent near Memorial Drive: the influx of new townhome product and former church properties being redeveloped for different purposes.

Swing up to the gallery for more site context and construction progress photos.

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