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Project unveiled for site of beloved Reynoldstown auto shop

After weeks of advice and rumors, it was reported on these pages last week that a longtime auto body company was leaving its prime-time acreage one block from the BeltLine, reporting that the one of the last major landowners on Memorial Drive near the Eastside Trail was yielding to development dollars.

Today, plans to replace Reid’s Body Shop, a Memorial Drive staple for some 68 years, have become clearer.

Toro Development Company has completed the purchase of the 1.64 acre property in Reynoldstown to develop a 186-unit apartment business called “The Reid”, in homage to the former auto shop and salvage yard. (A few blocks north, coincidentally or not, Empire Communities’ Stein Steel project also echoes the name of the industrial property it replaces.)

The Reid’s Body Shop property against the backdrop of recent Memorial Drive development and, on the far left, the BeltLine’s Eastside Trail. Google Maps

The Reid will be built on a sloping site next to the popular Home Grown restaurant – TDC officials say in an announcement that the restaurant is not displaced – at the corner of Memorial Drive and Holtzclaw Street, just north of the Madison Yards mixed-use complex. No new trade is expected.

Instead, TDC officials say ground-floor units will be “designed to engage the street level and support pedestrian activity,” according to a project announcement today.

The mix of apartments calls for a range of studios right up to two-bedroom units, with a rooftop pool. Fifteen percent of rentals will be reserved as affordable housing — as required by the BeltLine’s inclusive zoning ordinance — at 80% of area median income.

The first conceptual look at the Reid’s plans along Memorial Drive. Toro Development Company; designs, dynamic design

Construction is expected to begin in the first quarter of next year, with the first units expected to be delivered in the third quarter of 2024, according to TDC officials.

Led by Mark Toro, a former North American Properties executive, The Reid will mark the seasoned developers’ fourth multi-family project along the Eastside Trail corridor. Others include Edge OTB, Anthem on Ashley and Camden Fourth Ward (formerly called BOHO4W, much to the chagrin of legions of armchair city planners).

The Reid will mark the company’s first new multi-family development, while a mixed-use venture announced last month for 43 acres in suburban Johns Creek continues to move forward.

Family-owned Reid’s Body Shop had operated at 952 Memorial Drive SE since the mid-1950s, but the family put the property on the market in late 2021, bowing to pressure from multi-family residential development for which the square footage has already been zoned. In a statement, business owner Robert Reid said he was honored that the apartment project reflected what came before it, adding: “Our family has been an active part of the community for a long time, and we’re glad the new owners care about the history of the property. We are excited to see this becoming a great new place for people to live.

The purchase price for the property was not disclosed.

The auto shop and salvage yard on Memorial Drive, right, as seen last month. Google Maps

TDC officials said they also plan to incorporate memorabilia from the shop “as an important part of the project’s design.” They expect to submit a special administrative permit, or SAP, to begin pushing development forward in the coming days.

“With Home Grown and the BeltLine as neighbors,” said Richard Munger, partner of TDC, “This site is incredibly special and we take great care to create a place that helps meet the significant demand for housing in Atlanta.”

• Recent news from Reynoldstown, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)