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Demolition permit issued for 370-unit Halo East Decatur development

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Demolition permit issued for 370-unit Halo East Decatur development

A conceptual drawing of the updated plan for the new mixed-use development of Halo East Decatur. The perspective is from New Street. Image obtained via the city of Decatur.

This story has been updated.

Decatur, GA — Some demolition work has begun at 725 E. College Avenue, the site of a future 370-unit mixed-use development.

The developer, Northwood Ravin, has been issued a demolition permit. The project site is about seven acres at 114-134 New Street, 141 Sams Street and 715-747 E. College Ave.

“Due to the age of some of the buildings, asbestos and lead remediation took place to safely remove those environmentally hazardous building features,” Decatur Planning and Economic Development Director Angela Threadgill said.

According to a Nextdoor post, the roof and windows had been removed from the former Dearborn Animal Hospital at 715 E. College Ave.

The Decatur Downtown Development Authority reviewed the final development plans for the Halo East Decatur mixed-use project at its meeting in January.

To view the development plans, click here.

Plans for the development, which was formerly known as East Decatur Station, consist of 370 multifamily units, including live/work units, a café and coworking space, and about 15,000 square feet of retail space.

At least 41 units will be affordable rental units at 80% of the area’s median income. The project includes public improvements as well, with a greenspace that will be one acre, and extending Freeman Street, connecting Sams Street and New Street.

In terms of retail, Northwood Ravin is hoping to attract a market, food, and beverage businesses, and a possible tasting room concept to complement Three Taverns Brewery.

“We also have a list of some of the previous retail tenants in this area that have expressed interest in wanting to remain. It’d be great to have one or two of those as well,” Northwood Ravin development partner Ben Yorker previously said. “We have some smaller spaces that can work for them.”

Plans also include a parking deck with 424 parking spaces for residents and 44 retail parking spaces. The apartments would wrap around the parking structure. The top of the parking deck will be outdoor amenity space for residents, and include a swimming pool.

“What we are proposing is treatment of the parking deck that will be paneled recesses that resemble windows, and then we’re using art to line the parking structure,” Project Architect Jay Silverman previously said. “The parking structure was designed, though it is an open parking structure, it’s open on the sides and the solid wall will facilitate an art installation that will face Freeman.”

Northwood Ravin added a public walkway to the design to connect the courtyard on East College Avenue to the greenspace on Freeman Street.

“That’s where we’ve located the co-work café, and we now have added three artist-in-residence studios as well. The hope and the goal is to activate that area and make this a community space, hope that they could collaborate on events, maybe with the retailers, have a wine and art show once a month or something like that,” Yorker said.

In November 2021, the city commission approved a tax allocation district fund request from the developer. The commission authorized the city manager to enter into a development agreement with Northwood Ravin for an amount not to exceed about $5.4 million in tax district allocation funding over a 10-year period.

The funds would be distributed over a 10-year period and the first distribution date would be the date of the first temporary certificate of occupancy, which is anticipated to be in January 2024.

For this project, the funding will be used to obtain the right-of-way for the Freeman Street expansion and the one-acre park; the design, grading, landscape and hardscape at the park; and for work related to sidewalks, curbs, gutters, street trees and street parking.

The TAD funds would also go toward construction of the Freeman Street expansion; relocating existing stormwater and sewer infrastructures on Freeman Street; constructing a woonerf also known as a “living street”; building the public parking spaces in the parking deck; and for the retail courtyard.

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