Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Acquires 13.7 Acres Adjacent to Pittsburgh Yards® to Guide Development along Southside Trail

Parcel in southwest Atlanta purchased for $13.3M to support mission of ensuring equitable development in historically disinvested neighborhoods 

Map of 356 University Avenue

ATLANTA (August 18, 2023)In its continuing effort to create equitable growth and opportunity along its 22-mile corridor, Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. has acquired 13.7 acres along the BeltLine’s Southside Trail. The $13.3 million purchase at 356 University Avenue is situated adjacent to Pittsburgh Yards®, a transformative adaptive-reuse development fueling economic equity and job growth for communities in southwest Atlanta.  

The strategic acquisition continues the BeltLine’s mission to purchase land along the corridor to make way for the development of new affordable housing, affordable commercial opportunities, and job creation. The land was purchased from AECF Atlanta Realty LLC, a subsidiary of the Annie E. Casey Foundation, which manages Pittsburgh Yards®, and was financed through a loan from SouthState Bank.  

“This is a catalytic opportunity to continue guiding equitable, inclusive and sustainable development in southwest Atlanta, which has many historically disinvested neighborhoods,” said Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. President and CEO Clyde Higgs. “Purchasing this parcel is another step that the Atlanta BeltLine is taking in our focus on righting historic wrongs that have left residents and communities behind in the face of city-wide growth.”  

Tomi Hiers, president of AECF Atlanta Realty LLC, said selling the land to the Atlanta BeltLine will bring resources and expertise to develop the parcel on the west side of Pittsburgh Yards® more quickly and accelerate amenities that are important to residents. “We are excited about our collective vision for a space where community is at the center and can reap the benefits and contribute to the economic growth along the Atlanta BeltLine,” Hiers said. “This partnership also will allow us to focus on maximizing the potential of Pittsburgh Yards® as a hub for local entrepreneurs and a resource for the community to work, create, shop and play.”   

Pittsburgh Yards® was designed to be a commercial anchor and has succeeded in producing living-wage jobs that generate positive change for residents in the surrounding communities. The BeltLine’s newly acquired land sits next to The Nia Building™, a 61,000-square-foot former trucking terminal at Pittsburgh Yards® fitted with 101 leasable workspaces, conference spaces, an amphitheater, apartment units, and a shared kitchen and market. The Pittsburgh Yards® complex also includes a dedicated community green known as the James Bridges Field.  

In the past three years, the BeltLine has tripled its land holdings around the 22-mile loop. The land parcel acquired by the BeltLine is situated west of the downtown connector, adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine’s completed Southside Trail – Segment 1. The land is currently vacant, with no structures on the site.  

With development planning underway for nearby Murphy Crossing, a BeltLine-owned site, momentum continues to build south of I-20 and is part of an intentional transformation and investment in long-overlooked communities. Currently, there are approximately 20 different development projects within approximately a mile of Murphy Crossing. 

In south and west Atlanta, the BeltLine is actively building major multi-use trail segments with more going into construction in the next several months. By the end of 2024, 80 percent of the trail loop will be complete or under construction, providing alternative transportation options connecting into this site.  

“What excites me about this opportunity is knowing that the 14 acres was purchased by an organization (the Atlanta BeltLine) which aligns with the mission of the Annie E. Casey Foundation,” said Stephanie Flowers, NPU-V Chair and longtime Pittsburgh resident and community leader. “That makes me feel confident that what is going to be developed on this land will continue to increase and enhance opportunity currently happening at Pittsburgh Yards® around economic opportunity, entrepreneurship, and building community.” 

The BeltLine will conduct an extensive community engagement process to determine best uses for the site and to continue area momentum for intentional development on the city’s Southside that creates jobs and business opportunities for local residents and businesses, and in a manner that fosters sustainable and equitable economic development opportunities. The Casey Foundation will be a part of a stakeholder advisory committee along with residents of adjacent communities. After incorporating the desires and vision of adjacent residents and local businesses into the plans, the BeltLine will issue a Request for Proposals to invite developers to submit proposals to redevelop the site. The timeline for these meetings will be forthcoming and published on 

High-res images can be downloaded here 

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. purchased 13.7 acres at 356 University Avenue. The purchased property is pictured at the top of this image and adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail, pictured to the left, and the grassy James Bridges Field and Pittsburgh Yards® in the foreground. Photo by LoKnows Drones.
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. purchased 13.7 acres at 356 University Avenue. The purchased property is pictured at the top of this image and adjacent to the Atlanta BeltLine Southside Trail, pictured to the left, and the grassy James Bridges Field and Pittsburgh Yards® in the foreground. Photo by LoKnows Drones.


About the Atlanta BeltLine  

Atlanta BeltLine, Inc.’s vision is to be the catalyst for making Atlanta a global beacon for equitable, inclusive, and sustainable city life. As one of the largest, most wide-ranging urban redevelopment programs in the United States, the Atlanta BeltLine is building a more socially and economically resilient Atlanta with our partner organizations and host communities through job creation, inclusive transportation systems, affordable housing, and public spaces for all. For more information on the Atlanta BeltLine, please visit  

About the Annie E. Casey Foundation 

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is a private philanthropy that creates a brighter future for the nation’s children and youth by developing solutions to strengthen families, build paths to economic opportunity and transform struggling communities into safer and healthier places to live, work and grow. To learn more, please visit 

Media Contacts: 

Jenny Odom, Communications & Media Relations Manager
(404) 477-3659,  
Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. Office of Communications and Media Relations  

Julie Bryant Fisher, PR Consultant
(678) 522-8470,  

Beau Boughamer, Senior Communications Manager
(410) 458-5018,
Annie E. Casey Foundation 

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