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Alexan 1133 Opens

Residential building fills key hole in Commerce Drive streetscape

Continuing Decatur’s trend towards the redevelopment of surface parking lots into more productive uses, the Alexan 1133 brings 167 studio, one and two bedroom residential rental units to a high-profile curve at the edge of downtown. Like other downtown residential projects, it received no tax incentives or similar subsidies.

Included with the project are all new pedestrian streetscapes built to the city’s existing standards, as well as a fee paid towards future bicycle infrastructure, contributing to ongoing city efforts to tame this high-volume stretch for a wider variety of users and improve connectivity with northside Decatur neighborhoods.

The single-use project includes construction of a parking deck now shared with the adjacent Fidelity office building, making for horizontal mixed-use along the streetscape. As with other downtown developments, the deck was constructed first so that tenants in the commercial building could use it while the residential component was being constructed. Once complete, the parking deck became screened from view along the Commerce Drive frontage.

The main lobby entrance, leasing office, and all outer edge, ground floor apartments have sidewalk entrances along Commerce Drive. Upper floors include both single-loaded apartments with a corridor providing direct access from the parking deck and double-loaded units with a central corridor. Interior units look down into a central courtyard that includes a swimming pool. The development also includes a rooftop deck.

Bringing multiple goals together

Though this project, like similar projects coming online, is new construction with commensurate market-rate rents, it still plays an important role in longer-term affordability strategies. Steadily increasing demand for in-town living continues to exert pressure on communities like Decatur that now comprise the third fastest-growing metro area in the nation. By increasing supply for those seeking rentals in prime Decatur locations, these new apartments help reduce market pressure, and thus price escalation, on our more limited inventory of older, less costly second-tier units.

Building an active population of downtown residents has been a city priority since development of 1982’s community-driven Town Center Plan. In practice, such developments (both condo and for-rent) have been net-positive contributors to local tax revenue, paying notably more than they take out in city services and associated infrastructure, including schools. Such residents, drawn by a walkable, car-lite or car-free lifestyle, further contribute to the health of our downtown businesses, both independent and chain, providing for a wider variety of offerings and experiences for locals and visitors alike.

Views of both lush tree canopy and vibrant downtown buildings adorn the Alexan roof deck. Click for larger view.

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