Atlanta BeltLine announces the company tasked with the redevelopment of Murphy Crossing

Thursday morning, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. (ABI) is the final candidate in the Request for Proposals (RFP) process to redevelop the 20-acre Murphy Crossing site, located at 1050 Murphy Street in southwest Atlanta. The final candidate is real estate developer Culdesac, which will partner with Urban Oasis Development, Kronberg Urbanists + Architects, LDG Consulting and T. The Auckland City neighborhood is bordered by the Adair Park and Capitol View neighborhoods.

The plan prioritized high-density, transit-oriented development that focused on preserving land for pedestrians and cyclists in outdoor spaces protected from vehicles. The open design will also include residential and commercial affordability in a mix of new and existing buildings to create a connection with the surrounding neighborhood. Additional components will include a grocery store, retail and dining options, co-working spaces, arts and culture programs, and a farmers market—a tribute to the fabric and historical character of the land.

“Culdesac, Inc. designs welcoming, locally connected neighborhoods that provide a walkable lifestyle. We build mixed-use developments that include community, open space, and mobility, and we are excited about the opportunity to bring our next district to Murphy Crossing,” said Jeff Berens, Culdesac Co-Founder and COO. “We look forward to working with our partners on the development of a project that reflects BeltLine’s commitment to connecting Atlanta residents together and creating a more liveable and geographically integrated city.”

The proposed development, which will be known as Murphy Crossing of Culdesac, will support BeltLine in its efforts to advance the goals of equity, affordability, and inclusion through intentional development, employment options, housing and transit connectivity.

A major component of the project is its contribution to ABI’s goal of affordable housing. 25% (25%) of affordable housing units will be permanently allocated with an additional 5% (5%) considered affordable for at least 30 years. The target AMI is between 60 and 80 percent. In addition, Culdesac intends to offer 30% of all affordable retail and light industrial space to small businesses in the region.

“The Atlanta BeltLine is a project for everyone. Rising prices across the city and the nation are making it difficult for residents, entrepreneurs, and small businesses to succeed,” said Clyde Higgs, president and CEO of Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. “Murphy Crossing is our opportunity to play a role direct in creating affordable lifestyles and thriving businesses, which are BeltLine’s top priorities to be successful for communities.”

Photo: Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.

The site is adjacent to the BeltLine Westside Trail and in close proximity to the Oakland City and West End MARTA stations, providing an important channel of connectivity and development in southwest Atlanta.

“We are very focused on providing a flexible and achievable commercial space,” explained Sarah Zhou of Culdesac. “We intentionally design and build for a variety of uses: light industrial, office, event spaces, retail, direct work, co-working, manufacturing spaces, pop-ups, long-term leases and more to serve a variety of potential tenants of all sizes and schedules. Furthermore, we will issue grants to small businesses and offer affordable commercial space to support our tenants, especially those who may have just started their businesses.”

The site, once home to a Georgia state farmers market, was first included in ABI’s founding Atlanta BeltLine redevelopment plan in 2005 as a major redevelopment center. By 2014, ABI was able to acquire the first part of the future Murphy Crossing site — 16 acres of the 20-acre property.

In 2016, ABI began a broad community engagement process and commissioned a study to determine the best uses of the site based on the area’s need for economic development, transportation accessibility, affordability, and history preservation.

In 2018, ABI completed the purchase of Murphy Crossing and began a Request for Proposal (RFP) process for its sale and redevelopment, guided by extensive community input.

Due to COVID, the RFP has been suspended until 2021. When it was officially re-launched, ABI directly engaged stakeholders and the broader community to help develop the scope of the RFP. The resulting RFP sought a developer with an innovative redevelopment plan that would include the creation of sustainable wage living jobs, affordable housing, green space and other program elements that would enhance the surrounding community and stimulate inclusive economic development.

Pittsburgh Yards is a well-known joint venture and business incubator primed for growth. More than 90% of the companies operating out of the space on 352 University Avenue are minority and female-owned. With new development and construction from the southern portion of the Atlanta Beltline, Pittsburgh Yards is poised to become a larger player in minority-owned business development.

“New entrepreneurs, especially minority businesses, face disproportionate barriers when starting and maintaining businesses,” Higgs said. “Access to affordable commercial spaces is one of the biggest challenges. With Murphy Crossing and Pittsburgh Yards so close, we have two entities focused on creating more equitable access to opportunities within these thriving business districts.”

Reporting by eToro in Omontwen from The Atlanta Voice.

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