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Leaders wonder about fate of Thrive Residential projects after Toll Brothers buys company

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Leaders wonder about fate of Thrive Residential projects after Toll Brothers buys company

The boundaries of the city of Decatur. Source: Google Maps

By Cathi Harris, contributor 

Decatur, GA — Now that national home builder Toll Brothers has acquired fellow residential developer Thrive Residential, some Decatur leaders wonder whether it will delay ongoing Thrive-backed projects here — specifically the anticipated redevelopment of the old AT&T training center at the corner of Park Place and East Lake Drive.

“I am not sure if Toll Brothers has done an adaptive re-use of a historic building like that,” Chris Sciarrone, chair of the Downtown Decatur Development Authority (DDA) board said in a discussion during the board’s regular meeting Friday.

Toll Brothers, known nationally as a builder of luxury homes, already has a presence in Decatur, as they are a partner in the Publix-anchored mixed-use development going in at the corner of East Ponce de Leon and Arcadia Avenue.

In a deal announced Feb. 13, Toll Brothers said it had acquired the company and “certain homebuilding assets from Thrive” including approximately 680 lots throughout Atlanta and Nashville, Tenn. The terms of the acquisition were not disclosed.

“As we continue to execute on our strategy of broadening our range of geographies, product lines and price points, we are thrilled to have the Thrive team join the Toll Brothers family,” CEO Douglas C. Yearley, Jr. said in a statement. “Thrive, which brings a diverse product offering to urban in-fill locations, complements our recent acquisitions of Sabal Homes in South Carolina and Sharp Residential in Atlanta and enables us to continue the expansion of our operations in the dynamic Southeast.”

DDA board member Conor McNally said that he believed Toll Brothers could be a good company to work with the authority on completing the AT&T project.

“I know that they do home development and believe they knew when they acquired Thrive that they were getting several development projects,” McNally said. “But anything we could do to learn more and encourage them to move forward on this project would be great.”

Thrive formed 108 Park Place, LLC in 2018 to pursue plans for the adaptive re-use of the former AT&T training center into 34 condos. Under an agreement with the city and administered through the DDA and the Decatur Land Trust, three of the units will be reserved for buyers with incomes at or below 120 percent of the area median income (AMI).

Any new owner of the property will still be subject to the same agreements and restrictions related to that property, Decatur’s Director of Planning and Economic Development Angela Threadgill said at the meeting. “The City Commission passed ordinances related to that property and any new owner is still subject to those ordinances.”

Thrive also owns property on Talley Street directly across from the Talley Street Upper Elementary School that is also adjacent to the property the DDA owns on South Columbia Drive. 

The Talley Street property is currently undergoing construction and slated to feature a new townhome community. Threadgill said that construction on that project is active.

The DDA had been in negotiations to acquire part of the Thrive property through donation for a planned greenspace adjacent to the proposed Weekes Street apartment development and its property on South Columbia Drive.

The planned donation is still in the works, Threadgill told Decaturish after the meeting.

The transfer of land dedicated for open space and a future regional stormwater facility has not taken place yet between the developer and the DDA,” she clarified. “We anticipate to finalize the legal documents prior to issuance of a building permit. The land disturbance permit has been issued and the site infrastructure will determine the exact boundary descriptions for the east side of the open space.”

In a press release announcing the Toll Brothers acquisition, Thrive Residential co-founder Chris Rudd, said, “We are excited to join Toll Brothers’ luxury brand and financial resources.  We look forward to working with the Toll Brothers team on expanding our in-fill platform in Nashville and Atlanta.”

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