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Land near Microsoft's Grove Park campus scooped by leading West Midtown developer – Atlanta Business Chronicle – The Business Journals


Just a half-mile away from Microsoft Corp.’s planned campus in Grove Park, developers that have already made their mark on nearby West Midtown have quietly acquired a 15-acre tract of land.
Allen Morris Co., the developer behind the Star Metals office and residential mega-project, paid $30 million for an industrial lot in Bankhead, according to Fulton County property deeds.
The company plans to develop a mixed-use community on the site with joint partner Tenth Street Ventures, though “we haven’t finalized any of the plans,” said TSV CEO Brian McCarthy. Allen Morris Co. did not respond to requests for comment on the acquisition. 
The lot is along Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway, an area on the Westside of Atlanta as Microsoft prepares to buildout its 90-acre campus next door. Several empty warehouses sit on the property.
The transaction comes two years after TSV paid $20 million for the land, which it planned to include as part of a larger 40-acre development with apartments, townhomes and office buildings. At the time, the Tenth Street Ventures project was slated to become the largest on the Westside.
Project plans changed after four managing partners with the company split off to form another firm, Urban Landings. The company declined to comment.
Within the last few years, surges of development have occurred throughout the Westside, which was partially ignited by the completion of the BeltLine’s Westside Trail. 
Microsoft chose to locate its 90-acre tech campus in Grove Park, a Black working class neighborhood west of Bankhead. The city invested $44 million to reinvigorate 280 acres into the newly opened Westside Park. Developer Brock Built is now selling luxury townhomes upwards of $500,000.
Home values are spiking in Westside neighborhoods as a result of the development. In April 2019, the average median home price in Grove Park was $125,000. In April of this year, that number rose to $220,000, according to First Multiple Listing Service.
As this is occurring, concerns over the displacement of legacy residents because of gentrification have emerged. The Hollowell corridor experienced disinvestment during white flight in the late 1960s, after which population, local businesses and property conditions declined. Some of the neighborhoods in the area are among some of the poorest in Atlanta
Business and nonprofit leaders in Atlanta have begun to mitigate the pressures of rapid growth, however. Several entities have formed to address inequity on the Westside and protect the neighborhoods from displacement, including the Westside Future Fund and Grove Park Foundation. 
Affordable housing projects are also underway in the area, including Columbia Ventures’ Columbia Canopy at Grove Park. Earlier last year, Atlanta BeltLine Inc. bought 31 acres near the Bankhead MARTA stop for affordable housing, and MARTA submitted a request for proposals (RFP) for developers to transform around five acres of land around the station. MARTA also plans to spend $50 million to quadruple the train capacity in the station by 2025. 
The City of Atlanta began pushing for the redevelopment of tracts along Donald L. Hollowell Parkway two decades ago. It envisioned turning the Hollowell corridor into a vibrant and livable community by:
In 2004, former Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin approved legislation to change several land uses along the parkway. Suggestions included changing single family residential to low-density commercial, medium-density residential to high-density and industrial to medium-density residential, among other changes.
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