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Legacy Decatur plans to contract with PadSplit to manage creative village tenants

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Legacy Decatur plans to contract with PadSplit to manage creative village tenants

The creative village at Legacy Park will provide affordable housing and studio space to local creatives. Photo courtesy of the city of Decatur.

Decatur, GA — Legacy Decatur will move forward with a contract with PadSplit to manage the residential aspect of the creative village planned for the Edwards and Trustees Cottages at Legacy Park.

The creative village at Legacy Park will provide affordable housing and studio space to local creatives.

The Legacy Decatur board, the board that oversees Legacy Park, authorized the Legacy Decatur staff to negotiate a contract for a two-year pilot project with PadSplit and Two Keys Management to manage the housing part of the creative village. Legacy Park is located on South Columbia Drive.

Edwards and Trustees Cottages are slated for renovation this year.

“Once renovated, the two buildings will offer one efficiency apartment, four two-bedroom apartments, one three-bedroom apartment and one ADA four-bedroom apartment rented at the 60-80% AMI level,” Legacy Decatur Director of Programs Madeleine Henner wrote in a memo.

“As we were thinking through all of the possibilities, initially we were thinking of a more typical rental style where we rent the apartments to a group and the group comes preformed, but given that we want an artist community, trying to figure out a way to assess artists as a group or like what percentage of the apartment is artists, all of that became complicated,” Henner said during the Legacy Decatur board meeting. “We moved to the idea of renting the creative village as single-room occupancy, which is a more unique way of renting, but it is PadSplit and Two Keys Management’s expertise.”

In the memo, Henner also said that leasing individual rooms allows Legacy Decatur to select each artist individually.

PadSplit is the largest co-living marketplace in the country and has leadership based in the Atlanta area.

Atticus LeBlanc, PadSplit chief executive officer, said there are three main things the company does.

“The first thing is there’s no consolidated source of lead generation for this income population, so that they know they can come to PadSplit and have multiple choices within any given market we’re located in,” LeBlanc said. “We can screen those people and book them, usually within a couple of minutes. They go through identity verification, background check, income verification.”

Tenants can usually move in within 48 hours.

“The second thing we do is collections,” he said. “The reason we can take a very low income, relatively low credit population and create a high credit performance is by billing all-inclusive on a weekly basis.”

The third piece is building accountability and communications mechanisms, so residents can get in touch with other residents or the property manager.

If all bedrooms are rented at the 60% AMI level, Legacy Decatur could expect to generate about $100,872 in annual rental revenue. Twelve percent of the revenue would cover the cost of PadSplit’s management fee, about 6% would cover Two Keys Management’s fee and 10% would go toward arts programming through the Decatur Arts Alliance. Legacy Decatur would receive about $72,600 annually in unrestricted funds, Henner wrote in the memo.

Legacy Decatur is working with the Decatur Arts Alliance on the project as well to finish the residences and studios. The arts alliance would provide additional screening as well to look at a tenant’s artistic portfolio.

“We want to make sure that we are working with people who are professional artists, emerging artists. PadSplit has the ability to look at the income levels so that we can make sure that we are working with people who meet the AMI requirement for affordable housing,” Legacy Decatur Executive Director Lyn Menne previously said.

In other business:

– The board reelected a few board officers. Tony Powers, Decatur’s Mayor Pro Tem, will continue to serve as the board chair, Andrea Arnold, Decatur’s City Manager, will serve as the secretary and former Decatur city manager Peggy Merriss will serve as the treasurer. The board did not select a new vice chair.

– The Legacy Decatur board also approved pricing updates for events and weddings held at Legacy Park this year. For outdoor spaces, the residential rate would increase from $50 to $100 for the first two hours and from $12.50 to $25 for each additional hour.

Legacy Decatur will also have spaces available during normal business hours. The staff proposed a 50% discount for event spaces for Legacy Park tenants from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Thursday. The spaces could be used for meetings or events during the day.

The Legacy Decatur staff recommended renting rooms individually at Leigh Cottage as breakout rooms for small group meetings. The staff are in the process of furnishing three rooms in the cottage.

“Staff proposes renting individual rooms at the rate of $60 for the first two hours and $20 for each additional hour,” Henner wrote in a memo. “The six breakout rooms upstairs, access to the kitchen, and use of the large common area would cost $200 for the first two hours and $50 for each additional hour, and the downstairs portion of Leigh, including a large common area, two breakout rooms, and a small kitchenette cost $100 for the first two hours and $50 for each additional hour.”

The wedding prep suites in Williams Cottage would also be available as small meeting spaces or a quiet work space. The rental rate would be $100 for the first two hours and $50 for each additional hour.

Henner also proposed changing the pricing for weddings. Moore Chapel is currently offered as a package with the prep rooms and reception space. But Legacy Decatur would soon begin to rent the chapel separately to provide the opportunity for people to rent just the ceremony space.

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