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Atlanta Housing Authority closes deal to purchase Civic Center

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The Atlanta Housing Authority has closed a deal to purchase the Civic Center for $31 million. Mayor Kasim Reed held a press conference last week to announce the purchase, which is part of a $300 million-plus redevelopment plan to turn the former performing arts center into a mixed-use, mixed-income development.

At least 30 percent of the housing will be reserved as affordable housing at a time when “affordability and mobility are the most important issues facing our city” the mayor’s office said in a press release.

The AHA will partner with Weingarten Realty to develop plans for the site; the company was in talks with the city to purchase the building in 2016 before the deal collapsed. The plans will include 250 low-income housing units through AHA’s HomeFlex program, as well as at least 10 percent workforce housing units through Invest Atlanta’s bond inducement requirements.

“We’re happy that we can help execute this game-changing acquisition,” said Catherine Buell, president and CEO of the AHA. “As the site land owner, we can collaborate with all parties in a way that allows AHA to structure and guarantee a level of permanent affordability.”

The city of Atlanta began requesting proposals for the purchase and redevelopment of the Civic Center in 2015. The mayor announced the plans to sell the Civic Center to the AHA for redevelopment in August.

“Good things take time. Through its focus on affordable housing, the redevelopment of the Civic Center property will give families and working people the opportunity to live in an area with access to transit, employment and good schools,” Mayor Reed said. “Moreover, this new development will be an asset to the neighborhood, further adding to the vibrancy and vitality of Midtown and Downtown Atlanta. I am thankful to our partners in this effort and am excited to see what the future holds.”

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