The Atlanta BeltLine announced its purchase of roughly 14 acres of land in southwest Atlanta last month, a parcel situated along University Avenue just west of Interstate 85.
Valued at $13.3 million, the acquisition is an early step in the BeltLine’s plan to develop available space lining the Southside Trail with the intention of bringing additional jobs and affordable housing to the Pittsburgh neighborhood.
“This is a catalytic opportunity to continue guiding equitable, inclusive and sustainable development in southwest Atlanta, which has many historically disinvested neighborhoods,” said Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of the BeltLine, in a statement. “Purchasing this parcel is another step that the Atlanta BeltLine is taking in our focus on righting historic wrongs that have left residents and communities behind in the face of city-wide growth.”
The parcel of land is also adjacent to Pittsburgh Yards, a mixed-use campus redeveloped to increase southwest Atlanta residents’ access to entrepreneurship and other economic pursuits. The Annie E. Casey Foundation, manager of Pittsburgh Yards, also oversees AECF Atlanta Realty LLC, the agency behind the sale.
According to a press release announcing the acquisition, the BeltLine’s future plans for the space will amplify the work already set in motion by Pittsburgh Yards, giving the facility assets to speed up the development process and relay resources more quickly to the workers and residents who’d benefit from them most.
“Pittsburgh Yards is committed to upholding its mission and showing reverence for the history of the land it calls home by continuing to grow equitable career, entrepreneurship and wealth-building opportunities for the neighborhood’s residents,” said Chantell Glenn, senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation. “The Atlanta BeltLine’s commitment to a community-driven development process was a priority for the sale and codified in the purchase and sale agreement.”
Glenn also said that tenants at Pittsburgh Yards still benefit from the facility’s proximity to the Southside Trail, as do members of the community who use the trail to venture between the Pittsburgh and Capitol View Manor neighborhoods.
“Approximately 40% of tenants and co-working members of The Nia Building are South Atlanta residents,” Glenn said. “Community engagement will remain a priority at Pittsburgh Yards — in current efforts and future development.”
The BeltLine will later form a committee for participating stakeholders and consult business owners and residents of surrounding neighborhoods on how to best repurpose the site. After hearing from the community, the BeltLine will issue a Request for Proposals, inviting developers to submit their own ideas to transform the property.