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ATLANTA-Spotting a potential niche in metro Atlanta’s multifamily market, the United States subsidiary of Germany-based Kollmann Inc. plans to break ground in first quarter 2002 on The Lofts at 5300 Peachtree, a 242 -unit, $20 million shelter project and 5,300 sf of retail near the MARTA station in suburban Chamblee, GA, five miles northeast of Downtown.

The apartments will be developed at an average cost of $82,645 per unit. Monthly rents are expected to range from $850 for a studio apartment to $1,200 for a two-bedroom, two-bath unit. Kollmann’s subsidiary is based in Atlanta.

The loft project is part of the smart-growth plan being promoted by the Atlanta Regional Commission. The ARC’s livable centers concept pays communities, such as Chamblee, $5 million in five $1 million annual grants for attracting a development that is accessible to public transportation.

When the projects are actually under way, communities may apply for additional grants to cover streetscapes, sidewalks and other related public infrastructure. Chamblee won a first-round grant of $40,000 to come up with a plan for 250 vacant acres around the MARTA station.

To attract developers and entice them into making an early start on a project, Chamblee rezoned 80 acres which have no density requirements, such as building a certain number of homes per acre. Instead, the developer follows closely monitored architectural guidelines set up by the city.

Besides Chamblee, other communities that won first-round planning grants in 2000 were Atlanta, Canton, Conyers, Douglasville, Duluth, Marietta, Morrow, Peachtree City, Sandy Springs and Stockbridge. This year, 10 more communities garnered grants.

The Atlanta Regional Commission has $20 million to spread around in fiscal 2003 and $18 milion in 2004.

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