City Lights in Atlanta
Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward (“O4W” for short) is one of the City’s most dynamic neighborhoods and has become a focus of redevelopment efforts. As the developer in that venture, Wingate embarked on a major new development in 2016 called City Lights. The City Lights redevelopment program will have a total build out of 1500 mixed income apartment units.
City Lights is located in the heart of Atlanta’s Old Fourth Ward, one of the southeast region’s largest mixed income housing communities and a major Wingate holding since the 1970s. The four-story building provides 80 affordable senior homes with a full complement of amenities, including secure off-street parking, fitness center, laundry facility, activities center, computer lab, and an attractive elevated courtyard terrace.
Making City Lights a reality, however, required restructuring the property’s mixed income housing contracts. The lower-density buildings previously on the site were owned by several Wingate-affiliated partnership entities. Working closely with HUD, the Wingate team was able to bifurcate the existing Section 8 contracts and combine units into a new contract to allow for a single, higher-density building. In addition, Wingate persuaded HUD, Georgia Department of Community Affairs (DOA), and Invest Atlanta (city of Atlanta’s official economic development authority) of the urgent need for senior housing in the O4W, allowing the conversion of the existing family contracts to senior contracts.
The City Lights senior building opened in 2016 and was fully occupied in just 60 days. The project was a true public-private partnership with active involvement of the HUD Atlanta office, the Georgia Department of Community Affairs, the City of Atlanta, and Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development authority.
City Lights marked the beginning of a comprehensive, multi-phased redevelopment plan for Bedford Pines that includes replacing outdated residential properties throughout the community with high-quality, fully amenitized apartment homes. The focus will be not only to preserve the existing affordable housing options in Bedford Pines, but also to add workforce housing and market rate options, creating a true mixed-income community that serves the needs of residents at various income levels.
Wingate and its public partners embarked on the second phase of this initiative in 2018 with the construction of Station 464. Completed in the fall of 2019, Station 464 replaces 4 buildings of 46 total units with a single building that contains 96 mixed income family apartments. It includes amenities similar to those in City Lights but is designed for families with children. Station 464 was also fully occupied in just 60 days with priority given to residents from other Bedford Pines properties. This is just one example of how Wingate takes care of its residents.
Wingate is keeping up the momentum at Bedford Pines by planning two phases of redevelopment each year until all of its buildings have been reconstructed.