Westside Future Fund Celebrates Next Chapter In Atlanta’s Historic Westside With Groundbreaking Ceremony

On December 12, 2023 Westside Future Fund (WFF), in collaboration with officials from the city of Atlanta, celebrated a groundbreaking ceremony in English Avenue. The event marked a key milestone for the vacant site at 839 Joseph E. Boone, which WFF plans to build into a mixed-use development that will include multifamily housing and commercial space.

WFF is a place-based nonprofit dedicated to restoring the historic Westside to a vibrant community in Atlanta. Since its founding, the organization has been committed to preserving the neighborhood’s rich history while catalyzing positive change. That history includes many Civil Rights leaders such as Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., who lived in the community with his family, and Joseph E. Boone. Mr. Boone was a Civil Rights organizer who marched with Dr. King and helped lead the Southern Christian Leadership Conference’s effort known as Operation Breadbasket here in Atlanta. The aim was to encourage Black workers to organize to improve
job conditions for their community.

The new development at 839 Joseph E. Boone will include 33 units of rental housing and 1,200 square feet of space for retail. This development will be located next to Kathryn Johnston Park, one of several greenspaces WFF has partnered with community leadership to bring to the community. Building near green space has been a key focus for WFF’s real estate
acquisition and development.

“This project is a significant contribution to one of our city’s priority neighborhoods, and reflects WFF’s commitment to revitalizing our historic Westside to healthy, safe and thriving communities,” said Mayor Andre Dickens. “Thank you to WFF and their Chair, Dr. Tatum, the Woodruff Foundation and Invest Atlanta for their partnership, and for believing in the future of Atlanta’s Westside by investng in our residents through sustainable, affordable housing.”

This project was made possible through a grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation. Additional funding for the development was provided by Invest Atlanta and WFF’s Impact Fund. To ensure permanent affordability and retention of legacy residents, WFF relies on
philanthropy to help fuel its efforts. WFF’s high-quality affordable housing efforts come at a time when Atlanta, and the nation, are grappling with limited housing inventory. WFF’s signature program Home on the Westside prioritizes residents with “live, work and learn” connections to the community and includes rental housing, homeownership, and property tax assistance.

“As the representative for District 3, I am proud to witness the groundbreaking of a project that will have a lasting impact on our community,” said Councilman Amos. The work of Westside Future Fund demonstrates a commitment to equitably revitalizing the historic Westside. This development in English Avenue aligns with our vision for a community that thrives economically, socially, and culturally. I look forward to the positive changes this project will bring to our residents.”

With all its work, WFF aims to advance a compassionate and equitable approach to neighborhood revitalization. The organization is focused on moving quickly to increase highquality affordable housing options within its service footprint because stable housing is the
foundation for a healthy neighborhood. Over the last decade, WFF has championed several key impact strategies that take a holistic approach to restoring the historic Westside.

“This groundbreaking symbolizes a pivotal moment for our organization and the entire community,” said John Ahmann, President, and CEO of WFF. “It’s not just about breaking ground on a project; it’s about breaking barriers and building bridges towards a more vibrant
and inclusive future for Atlanta’s historic Westside. We have been diligent in our process of acquiring land, and thinking about the future ahead, to ensure we help build a community that will positively impact the lives of generations to come.”

WFF is currently developing an additional 104 high-quality, affordable housing units, in both new construction and substantial rehab projects, throughout its service footprint.