Post breaks ground on $96 million downtown Atlanta project

Apartment giant Post Properties on Monday broke ground on a $96 million residential project in downtown Atlanta that company CEO David Stockert called Post’s largest-ever bet in metro Atlanta.

Post Centennial

Post Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta

Post Centennial Park, at Centennial Olympic Park Drive and Simpson Street, includes 438 units across two mid-rise towers that city leaders hope will serve as a catalyst for further downtown residential development. The project is across the street of Centennial Olympic Park and it is also adjacent to another parcel along Williams Street that Post has owned for years and is expected to one day become a luxury residential high-rise.

“Downtown is on the upswing, and it has been rediscovered,” Stockert said. The Post project along with redevelopment of a former office building on Piedmont Avenue into apartments is part of a wave of residential bringing hundreds of new units to the city’s core.

But downtown has lagged the apartment surge of neighborhoods like Midtown and Buckhead. Stockert said downtown needs to prove itself as a rental market, but Post’s commitment to such a pricey project is a sign developers are willing to test the waters.

The project came about with help of about $9 million in city of Atlanta incentives, including a property tax break that calls for 10 percent of the units to be reserved as affordable housing.

Post Centennial

Atlanta City Council President Ceasar Mitchell (left), Post Properties CEO David Stockert, Mayor Kasim Reed, Atlanta City Councilwoman Cleta Winslow, Invest Atlanta CEO Eloisa Klementich and Central Atlanta Progess CEO A.J. Robinson participate in a ceremonial groundbreaking for Post Centennial Park in downtown Atlanta, Monday, Feb. 8, 2016. J. Scott Trubey/STAFF

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the Post project not only fulfills the desire to bring new residential development to the city, but also to have units available to a broader range of residents. The affordable housing commitment is to provide units that people making 80 percent of the median income of the area can afford.

“I am deeply grateful for the bet you are making in the city of Atlanta,” Reed told Stockert.

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