Cranes rising in Vine City: New Park; Affordable Senior Housing; Bike Lanes

Invest Atlanta is forging ahead with its plan to bring more affordable housing to the downtown neighborhood that sits in the westward shadow of the almost finished billion dollar Mercedes-Benz Stadium.  At a recent board meeting, Invest Atlanta approved a $10 million bond resolution to fund the construction of 105 units of senior housing in Vine City. The 105-unit Oasis of Vine City complex will be reserved for seniors above the age of 62, who will pay no more than 60 percent AMI. The units will all be affordable and high quality, with amenities such as energy efficient appliances, pre-wired security, and a fitness center.

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This project has been in the works for almost 5 years. This year, much emphasis has been placed on ensuring that long-time residents are not pushed out of some of Atlanta’s poorer historic westside neighborhoods. In April, Mayor Kasim Reed announced the Anti-Displacement Tax Fund, a program funded with corporate and philanthropic dollars to help residents in  Vine City, English Avenue, Ashview Heights and the Atlanta University Center area pay increasing rents and tax bills as their property becomes more valuable. the ADTF will be run by the Westside Future Fund and hopes to raise $5 million.

As many SW Atlanta residents recently received property tax assessments that are double and triple that of last year, the need for stable, affordable housing on the Westside is more important now than ever. Oasis of Vine City should enable these long-time residents to age in place in their communities. Additional funding for the project will come from a variety of sources, including Georgia’s Department of Community Affairs, the Vine City Trust Fund, and affordable housing tax credits.

Last month, the city and civic leaders also broke ground on a new park in Vine City.

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Construction has begun on Rodney Cook Senior Park, a $45 million public-private project that is sure to trigger a rebirth of Vine City and surrounding neighborhoods. The 16-acre park will feature a playground, picnic pavilion, multi-use courts for sports, a boardwalk and terraced pools. The park will also feature 18 statues of Georgia civil rights leaders and others who were considered peacemakers throughout the state’s history.

Scheduled to open Summer 2018, Rodney Cook Sr Park will also have a retention pond.

Along Simpson Rd Joseph E. Boone Blvd, city contractors have begun construction work on the Boone Boulevard Green Infrastructure & Capacity Relief Project which includes reducing the roadway to two lanes and the addition of bicycle lanes between Northside Drive and Mayson Turner Road. Work will begin east of the Joseph E. Boone Boulevard and Joseph E. Lowery Boulevard intersection. Once complete, the Boone Boulevard Green Infrastructure & Capacity Relief Project will help manage stormwater and increase sewer capacity in the area.