Cobb County redevelopment arm to sell 32 acres near Six Flags for affordable housing – The Atlanta Journal Constitution

The land represents over half of the 51 acres the authority acquired in its bid to revitalize the area near Six Flags of Georgia. And, if the project secures financing and final approval, it would represent the first major redevelopment project overseen by the SCRA since a special tax district was created in 2014.

Doug Stoner, the board chair for the SCRA, told the AJC that board has long envisioned using the land, which surrounds the former Magnolia Crossing apartment property, to provide three badly needed services to the community: housing, health care and fresh food. The proposed development would take care of the first, and Stoner said the authority is in talks with Cobb and Douglas Public Health to use some of the remaining land for a medical campus. That would leave about 10 acres to pursue a grocery store of some kind.

“It’s taken some time, but we have a plan for what we want to do,” Stoner said of the land the authority began acquiring in 2015. “This is the first step.”

The board in November approved a purchase agreement to sell the land for $4.8 million to Dominium, a Maine-based affordable housing developer, and the Searles Foundation, a local nonprofit. The sale is contingent on the partnership securing financing for the $140 million development. Dominium is expected to apply for federal low income housing tax credits through the Georgia Department of Community Affairs in Spring 2022, Stoner said, with construction planned to begin in early 2023.

The first 294 units would be for families, with the remainder designated for seniors. The units would be set aside for those making up to 60% of the area median income as determined by federal housing guidelines. Rent would range from $970 for a one-bedroom to $1,344 for a three-bed apartment, Dominium officials said at a town hall meeting earlier this month.

Monica DeLancy, who leads the We Thrive in Riverside Renters Association, said affordability is badly needed in South Cobb.

According to federal housing data, the proposed development would be just the fourth financed with low income housing tax credits in Cobb County since the troubled Magnolia Crossing complex closed in 2015, displacing 90 people. In Fulton County at least 14 such projects opened in the same period.

But while DeLancy said the new units would help many low-income workers, such as entry-level teachers, cooks and some health care professionals, those price points would remain unaffordable for those who make minimum wage or are unemployed.

“There’s no housing being built for extreme poverty,” DeLancy said.