Developer: Days numbered for the pesky “trash mountain” near BeltLine

When it comes to the notorious Boulevard Heights trash pile, public opinion could soon shift from “wee” to “phew,” according to developers.

After nearly two years of work at the site, southeast Atlanta neighbors recently contacted their neighbors with concerns that the “trash mountain” — aka “Mount Rubbish” — shows few signs of disappearance, as construction crews continue to sort, stack, and remove waste from the old landfill, and dump trucks continue to roar through city streets.

According to developer TPA Residential, brighter (and less trashy) days are on the horizon.

The Atlanta-based company is 90% complete with remediation of the landfill at the site where United and Lester avenues meet — an undertaking described as large and unique that took longer than initially expected, according to city leaders. project.

The massive mound of waste excavated from a landfill where United Avenue meets Lester Avenue was seen last year. Josh Green/Urbanizing Atlanta

TPA plans call for mobilizing construction crews in August and beginning the development phase of the 1104 Avondale Ave. project, located less than two blocks from the BeltLine's under-construction Southside Trail and Grant Park sections.

“We, and I’m sure the neighborhood, look forward to beginning vertical development of the project in the very near future,” a project representative wrote to Urbanize Atlanta via email.

TPA Residential filed for a permit last summer to pave the way for vertical development.

According to documents filed with the city in August, TPA plans to start the development with a single 212,000-square-foot building with 228 housing units, an increase from the 215 apartments called for in previous plans. Beyond this mid-rise building, TPA plans to build 63 rental townhomes spread around 10 structures located closer to United Avenue, according to site plans. Per zoning, a small commercial space will be included in one corner of the multifamily building.

A rendering for the multifamily portion of the 1104 Avondale Ave project. submitted to the city last summer. Residential TPA

We have requested an updated timeline on project delivery and more renderings and will update this story if that happens. Early renderings indicate the multifamily building could be called United Apartments.

The 8.2-acre site in question was once home to a city-run drinking water chlorination facility, but for years had been a huge abandoned landfill covered in dirt. Sources said around 150,000 meters of waste had to be removed before the site could be ready for construction. Two previous development efforts by other companies at the site failed and were ultimately abandoned.

The Fulton County Development Authority approved a $3.7 million tax abatement for TPA to help clean up the site in 2022. The development was also approved for the Brownfield Tax Credit program for “the voluntary cleanup and redevelopment of an environmentally contaminated site,” according to the TPA project website. Sanitation and removal of the landfill will be would have cost $7 million, and TPA plans to spend another $1 million to build a BeltLine connection with lighting and landscaping.

Fifteen percent of the apartments and townhouses will be set aside as affordable housing, as required by the BeltLine's inclusionary housing rules, according to TPA's plans. As of 2022, the first units were to be delivered in spring or summer 2024, but this has clearly changed.

TPA's plans for apartments (ranging from studios to three-bedroom options) call for 43 units to be reserved for tenants earning 80 percent of the area median income or less, according to previous documents.

The site of TPA Residential's mix of townhouses and rental apartments along United Avenue, with the BeltLine's Southside Trail corridor pictured at left, prior to construction. Google Maps

The Avondale Avenue project is part of a wave of recent developments in this pocket of the BeltLine corridor, where construction of the next 1.2 mile stretch of the Southside Trail began in June of last year. Communities of the Empire the fasta large 120-unit townhouse project, claimed another vacant parcel next door several years ago.

Down the street, TPA also built a 275-unit project called Le Penman on 6 acres that directly front the BeltLine, near the Southside Trail's intersection with the boulevard. Approximately 7,000 square feet of adaptive reuse commercial space was also included in this project.

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• Is Boulevard Heights, connected to the BeltLine, the next Reynoldstown? (Urbanizing Atlanta)

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