project site.

The domestiCITY competition site consists of two adjacent parcels totaling approximately 7.1 acres.  These parcels are privately owned by two distinct entities:  Santa Fe Villas comprises approximately five acres and is owned and operated by the not-for-profit Urban Residential Development Corporation (URDC), while the abandoned Town & Country Hotel Courts comprises the remaining two-plus acres.  Entrants should incorporate both parcels in their design proposals.

The design competition aims specifically to redevelop Santa Fe Villas, a 4-acre, 147-unit transitional housing development along a low-density commercial corridor in south Atlanta, improving access to affordable housing through strategic densification, social revitalization, & mixed-use new construction.  The physical redevelopment of the Santa Fe Villas, combined with new-construction on an adjacent 3-acre abandoned motel site, will ultimately serve as a built prototype for affordable housing solutions along under-developed commercial corridors in Atlanta and in other rapidly-growing population centers throughout North America.

The competition site is located at 2370 Metropolitan Parkway SW, in the Perkerson Park neighborhood at the southernmost edge of Atlanta city limits.  Adjacent neighborhoods include Jefferson Park, Hammond Park, River Park and Sylvan Hills.  The site is approximately five miles south of downtown Atlanta, five miles north of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, and three miles east of downtown East Point.  The development site is bounded immediately to the east by a densely foliated undeveloped parcel owned by “Go Auto Exchange”; to the south by the freeway interchange connecting Interstates 75 and 85; to the north by a 26-acre paved parking lot also owned “Go Auto Exchange”; and to the west by Metropolitan Parkway.

The competition seeks to achieve the following four principal goals:


History has demonstrated that architectural environment plays a critical role to the long-term success or failure of social housing developments.  As such, the renovation of existing housing and the addition of infill units and new construction must sensitively balance architectural innovation with the historic, social, and economic context of the community.  It is paramount that development of the architectural aesthetic is inclusive of current and future residents.  Additionally, submissions should demonstrate commitment to principles of sustainable design at building, site, and neighborhood scales; innovation in the integration of various building systems; and creative design solutions for individual units, building blocks, and site and landscaping components.


Underlying any successful development is a robust architectural program.  For housing developments, this includes establishing an appropriate mix of uses, unit typologies, and service infrastructure, as well as identifying critical relationships between distinct spaces within the site and beyond to the surrounding community.  The integration of supportive service components and access to transportation, jobs, and education further contribute to a well-programed project.


Economic Feasibility is particularly challenging in the development of affordable housing.  An economically viable project can be achieved, however, through a combination of innovative financing mechanisms and subsidies; reduced construction costs per square foot or per unit; operational efficiencies resulting from lower administrative, utility, and maintenance costs; and creative integration of supportive services.


With the resurgence of cities in the past decades, lack of affordability has become a deep-rooted contributor to vulnerable urban neighborhoods.  The combination of land scarcity and climbing construction costs jeopardizes the ability to provide quality, affordable units not only for populations of need but also for newly-arrived residents and young adults hoping to remain in the communities of their youth.  The competition seeks to establish a replicable model that can be adapted for future housing development throughout the city of Atlanta and in other cities experiencing similar housing scarcity.

The Santa Fe Villas

The 4.78-acre Santa Fe Villas site was developed in the 1960s, initially functioning as a motel.  Built out over a span of several years, Santa Fe eventually included 147 rooms distributed through 18 buildings.  Laundry facilities, community rooms, a leasing office, maintenance and storage are located in an additional five buildings.  URDC acquired the property in 1995, at which time the units and common buildings were rehabilitated and the use changed to allow for permanent Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing.  As a sub-grantee of the City of Atlanta’s Office of Housing and Community Development, URDC currently serves disadvantaged formerly-homeless individuals and minimum wage workers at the Sante Fe Villas site.

above: The Santa Fe Villas – Inspirational Drawings

Above: The Santa Fe Villas Residence

above: MARTA Bus stop in front of  the Santa Fe Villas

above: The Santa Fe Villas – Current Resident

above: The Santa Fe Villas

left: The Santa Fe Villas – Abandoned Basketball Court

right: The Santa Fe Villas Leasing/ Communal Area

above: The Town & Country Hotel Courts

left: The Town & Country Hotel Courts

right: The Town & Country Hotel Courts – Dilapidated Building

above: The Town & Country Hotel Courts – Recent Fire


The 2.33-acre Town and Country Hotel Courts is located immediately to the south of Santa Fe Villas, and was first developed in the 1940’s.  The property has changed ownership four times in the last three years, and appears to have been abandoned for a substantially longer period of time.  Four buildings in severe states of disrepair are on the site: a main office and three garden-style lodging buildings.

The main office was originally a single-story building with a cupola, but at some point had a second-floor addition constructed.  Until very recently, the main office was being inhabited by squatters, but a fire destroyed most of the structure on June 27th, 2017.  The remaining three structures are all currently uninhabitable.

The remainder of the site is covered with overgrown vegetation, garbage, and a vintage “McFrosty” ice cream truck.  The competition steering committee anticipates that the existing buildings would be demolished to make way for new construction, assuming the city were to gain site control

above: The Town & Country Hotel Courts

above: The Town & Country Hotel Courts – Waste

above: The Santa Fe Villas – Stored Water

above: The Santa Fe Villas – Walkway Infill

Questions & Answers

Direct all inquiries to  Questions regarding the project must be submitted no later than 5:00 pm ET on Wednesday, September 13, 2017.  Questions & answers will be publicly posted by September 20, 2017 on the competition website.

Please direct all press inquiries to John Keaten

Copyright 2017 ASSIST Inc.  Internet Services dontated by XMission.

Please direct all press inquiries to John Keaten

Copyright 2017 ASSIST Inc.  Internet Services dontated by XMission.