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Urban Renaissance Development Announces Plan to Revitalize Atlanta University Center Community with 200+ New Build-to-Rent Homes

October 11th, 2023

Atlanta-based Developer Targeted Urban Infill Area in Southwest Atlanta for Its Historic Significance to Black Education and the Civil Rights Movement

ATLANTA — October 17, 2023 — Urban Renaissance Development (URD) is developing 200+ build-to-rent townhomes, brownstones, flats and single-family homes aimed at breathing new life to the long-overlooked historic Atlanta University Center (AUC) district.

URD is focused on developing market-rate rental homes for Atlanta’s workforce that will complement existing neighborhoods near the multi-phase project. Once a thriving community, the area has lost almost 60 percent of its residents over the past two decades and about three-fourths of the lots are now vacant or in disrepair.

The team at URD represents the coming together of experienced real estate development, community/academic research and finance professionals with a wealth of knowledge and a track record of successful projects.

“The over-arching goal of URD is the revitalization and flourishing of the neighboring residential communities comprising the AUC,” said co-founder, John E. Williams, PhD, the Emeritus Mills Lane Professor of Finance and Dean of Business/Economics at nearby Morehouse College.

“We believe this will be the most meaningful non-contiguous infill development in the AUC district in decades,” said URD co-founder Brian King, a seasoned finance and real estate investment professional who teaches Real Estate Finance at his alma mater Morehouse College. “Despite its rich heritage and significance to the black community nationwide, this area has been neglected long enough. It’s time to bring these empty lots back to life.”

The project will feature modular designs and off-site construction methods wherever possible to save time, lower costs and create less waste and disruption on the construction job site.

The development project is within easy walking distance to a MARTA rail station, the Mercedes-Benz Stadium that will host the 2026 FIFA World Cup and the $5 billion Centennial Yards (CIM) Redevelopment Project, a 50-acre district featuring residential, office, retail, dining and entertainment spaces.

“Our company values partnerships and we are actively seeking investment and finance development partners to join our latest endeavor,” said URD co-founder Bernard Felder, who has over 30 years of experience sourcing, structuring and financing development of more than 7,000 housing units worth more than $700 million.

“To achieve this, we are pursuing both self-performance and partnership strategies for various phases of our project,” he explained. “By embracing a collaborative approach, we diversify expertise to deliver unparalleled value to our neighborhood and stakeholders while minimizing community and business risk perils and maximizing the respective associative returns.”

About URD

Urban Renaissance Development is a pioneering force in real estate development, committed to shaping the future of urban landscapes through innovative modular design and construction. We specialize in transforming seemingly ordinary or undesirable infill locations into vibrant communities, revitalizing entire neighborhoods. Our commitment to provide build-to-rent and for-sale quality housing for diverse mixed-income residents, seniors and students is at the core of our approach to urban development. URD pursues both multifamily rental and for-sale opportunities. For more information visit


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