On October 17, 2023, it was announced that Urban Renaissance Development (URD) is redeveloping property in the long-overlooked, historic Atlanta University Center (AUC) district.
The goal is the revitalize the area by adding over 200 build-to-rent townhomes, brownstones, flats and single-family homes. This is in keeping with the proven, housing-based urban revitalization strategy documented in the 2020 book, RECONOMICS: The Path To Resilient Prosperity.
This will be the most meaningful infill redevelopment in the AUC district in decades.
“The over-arching goal of URD is the revitalization and flourishing of the neighboring residential communities comprising the AUC,” said co-founder, John E. Williams, PhD, the Emeritus Mills Lane Professor of Finance and Dean of Business/Economics at nearby Morehouse College.
Despite its rich heritage and significance to the black community nationwide, this area has been neglected long enough. It’s time to bring these empty lots back to life.
URD is focused on redeveloping market-rate rental homes for Atlanta’s workforce that will complement existing neighborhoods near the multi-phase project.
Once a thriving community, the area has lost almost 60 percent of its residents over the past two decades and about three-fourths of the lots are now vacant or in disrepair.
The team at URD represents the coming together of experienced real estate development, community/academic research and finance professionals with a wealth of knowledge and a track record of successful projects.
“We believe this will be the most meaningful non-contiguous infill development in the AUC district in decades,” said URD co-founder Brian King, a seasoned finance and real estate investment professional who teaches Real Estate Finance at his alma mater, Morehouse College.
“Despite its rich heritage and significance to the black community nationwide, this area has been neglected long enough. It’s time to bring these empty lots back to life,” he added.
The project will feature modular designs and off-site construction methods wherever possible to save time, lower costs and create less waste and disruption on the construction job site.
“Our company values partnerships and we are actively seeking investment and finance development partners to join our latest endeavor,” said URD co-founder Bernard Felder, who has over 30 years of experience sourcing, structuring and financing development of more than 7000 housing units worth more than $700 million.
“To achieve this, we are pursuing both self-performance and partnership strategies for various phases of our project,” he continued.
The development project is within easy walking distance to a MARTA rail station, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium that will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the $5 billion Centennial Yards Redevelopment Project, a 50-acre district featuring residential, office, retail, dining and entertainment.
Image courtesy of Urban Renaissance Development.