The metamorphosis of downtown Atlanta's eastern flank into Georgia State University's "Panther Town" continues. GSU's frequent announcements of land and building acquisitions show promise to bring the commuter school the feeling of an institution more woven into the city; officials on Wednesday announced that an abandoned Ramada Hotel and rental car facility will officially be another piece in that puzzle. The 1.5 acre site at 70 John Wesley Dobbs Ave. was bought up by Ambling University Development Group, a block west of two other major GSU residence halls. The developer also had a hand in building GSU's massive University Commons facility, which maxes out at 15 stories and sleeps 2,000.
The AJC reports the plans call for two phases that would include hundreds of new student apartments. Those include a renovation of the hotel (138 units, forecasted for a summer 2013 opening) a new tower (108 units, opening summer 2014) and a parking deck. Plans call for a dash of commercial space, too. In June, GSU purchased the former Atlanta Life Insurance/ Atlanta Life Financial Group buildings on Auburn and Piedmont Avenues downtown to house, among other things, its Honors College, alumni and admissions offices and a welcome center. Can a thriving, coherent college-town vibe be far off?
· Retro Hotel Might Go-Go for 18-story GSU Tower [Curbed Atlanta]
· Abandoned downtown hotel to be new home to student housing [AJC]
· Sweet Auburn Gets a Shot in the Arm From Georgia State [Curbed Atlanta]
· Ambling University Development Group