NAP Plans Apartment Development in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward

North American Properties has closed on 3.7 acres in Atlanta's Old Fourth Ward and plans to develop a five-story apartment building on the site.

Atlanta—North American Properties (NAP) has closed on 3.7 acres in Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward for about $5 million, and it plans to develop a five-story apartment building on the site. The company expects the first residents to move into the 276-unit property in the fall of 2013.

“Historic Old Fourth Ward is undergoing a major transition, and we are right in the middle of it,” Richard Munger, vice president of development who oversees NAP’s multifamily platform in the Southeast, tells MHN. “The site overlooks the newly completed Old Fourth Ward Park and is within walking distance to Ponce City Market. We acquired one of the best apartment sites in the city of Atlanta.”

The Old Fourth Ward stretches about a mile east from Downtown Atlanta and is one of the older sections of the city, characterized by converted factories, older shotgun housing stock, and newer retail, apartment and condo developments. It’s also home to the Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site.

NAP’s site is near the former City Hall East, which Jamestown is redeveloping into Ponce City Market, a mixed-use development that will comprise about 300,000 square feet of retail and restaurant space. Midtown Place, which is across Ponce de Leon Ave. from Ponce City Market, is anchored by Whole Foods, Home Depot and PetSmart.

The developers also say that they’ll be able to take advantage of a generational shift in thinking about living in rental properties. Namely, younger adults now look on the prospect as more than merely a stepping-stone to homeownership—provided the location and amenities are right.

“As the country’s demographics shift, it’s clear Generation Y prefers to rent their homes, and they want their apartments to be in walkable surroundings in urban settings,” says Mark Toro, managing partner of NAP. “Our target customers want to live in this neighborhood.”

The development will mark North American’s first ground-up multifamily development in Atlanta since the company shifted its focus from retail to mixed-use and multifamily. The company, which has developed about 12,000 multifamily units nationwide since its founding in 1954, has 3,000 additional units in the pipeline in other high-growth cities, such as Nashville, Austin and Dallas.