Columbia Residential, Partners Preserve Atlanta Affordable Community

Located on the BeltLine, the 70-year-old rental property is critical to an area that has seen rents rise dramatically as a result of redevelopment.
Capitol View Apartments

Atlanta, Ga.-based Columbia Residential has purchased and plans to restore and preserve Capitol View Apartments in Atlanta’s Adair Park neighborhood. The affordable community is directly on the city’s BeltLine, a planned 22-mile loop of greenspace, pathways and modern streetcar that will eventually link 45 in-town Atlanta neighborhoods.

The revitalization of the 70-year-old community is a collaborative effort between Columbia Residential, the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Enterprise Community Loan Fund, Invest Atlanta and the Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DCA). Built in 1948 at Metropolitan Parkway and University Avenue, Capitol View is located 10 minutes southwest of downtown Atlanta in an area that has witnessed a dramatic surge in home prices in recent years.

The community features 120 one- and two-bedroom units.

Redevelopment will emphasize sustainable renovation and construction consistent with preserving the history of the community. Development plans call for sustainable, energy-efficient housing updated to today’s standards. Accessible community services that are intended to serve families and enhance lives for generations will also be included.

“We have successfully completed the initial acquisition, but there is much in the way of challenges ahead,” Jim Grauley, Columbia Residential president and chief operating officer told MHN. “The most challenging aspect to date was to align the public and private financing sources quickly to be able to meet a very short closing deadline.

“The city, state and non-profit partners stepped up strongly with commitments to help us facilitate the acquisition and preservation. There are many challenges ahead, but we are confident of a great redevelopment thanks to our partners and commitment to preserving affordable housing in key locations in Atlanta.”

Redevelopment pressures

Residences will be reserved for families and individuals earning 50 to 70 percent of area median income. That’s significant in an area where revitalization and development pressures are leaving multifamily housing beyond the budgets of many families.

“The preservation of Capitol View represents what can be accomplished when local public-private partnerships and philanthropic organizations collaborate around their goals of preserving and sustaining affordable housing in revitalizing communities,” said Natalie Keiser, senior associate at the Annie E. Casey Foundation’s Atlanta Civic Site, in a prepared statement.

“As progress on the BeltLine continues, it’s more important than ever to intentionally create and preserve quality, affordable housing options for existing residents.”

Equity of housing

The Capitol View Apartments acquisition was facilitated by a $5 million acquisition loan from Enterprise Community Loan Fund with a guarantee by the Casey Foundation, $1.5 million in Housing Opportunity Bond financing from the City of Atlanta through Invest Atlanta and a $1.5 million loan from the Georgia Housing and Finance Authority. Low-income housing tax credits, historic renovation tax credits and a range of local and state housing program resources, as well as private investment, will fund the renovation. Columbia Residential will manage the property and provide services to residents in pre-construction and following renovations.

“I am so proud of Columbia Residential and the other great agencies in this collaboration of the jump start of a major corridor of redevelopment in District 12,” said Atlanta City Councilwoman Joyce Sheperd in a prepared statement. “This affordable housing development is truly an example of equity of housing in our community.”