What was once a symbol of Atlanta's post-Depression resurgence is now an architectural belle without a beau. Maybe, for the sake of downtown's historic Olympia building, a moneyed stud will come along this month. For the third time, the Georgia State Properties Commission is putting the two-story, triangular building (think: flashy neon Coca-Cola sign near Five Points) up for auction. According to the Saporta Report, bids for the Olympia must be submitted by Aug. 20, marking the third time the state will put the landmark up for bidding. Zero potential suitors vied for the property early last year (not even viral Georgia State University), but the market has heated up, and maybe the Olympia would make for cool lofts, or tech offices, or a gargantuan juice bar.
The Olympia was built between 1935 and 1936, which made it an anomaly during the Great Depression — and a sign that commercial growth was beginning anew in Atlanta. The building's strategic placement, as the City of Atlanta's website notes, is still valuable today. Being just two-stories in a high-rise neighborhood, the Olympia has maximum visibility from almost every direction, which could help to explain why Coca-Cola has leased the rooftop space through 2017 — at a base rent of $8,641 per month. Saporta examined bid documents and notes the building would come with a second lease: The Atlanta Downtown Improvement District pays $1,961 per month for space there.
Officials have said the pie-shaped relic needs significant repairs. It last changed hands in 1995, when the Woodruff Foundation gifted the building to the state in preparation for the Olympics. Its value back then was $3.6 million. It'll be interesting to see if bids start above that number or far below.
· Column: Downtown's historic Olympia building for sale — again [Saporta Report]
· Olympia Building [City of Atlanta]
· Dear Coca-Cola: Buy the Olympia Building! [Curbed Atlanta]