Get your fill of saying "Boisfeuillet Jones," y'all. Soon you might never have a reason to speak of him again — unless you like paying homage to important Atlanta philanthropists of old. All that serious talk about city officials selling off the Boisfeuillet Jones Civic Center to the most qualified/politically connected developer has come to a head, with the much anticipated Request For Proposals — RFPs — released late last week. Invest Atlanta, the city's development arm, is seeking a developer for the languishing site currently run (into the ground) by the city. Located where downtown abuts Old Fourth Ward, the site has the potential to better connect the two neighborhoods and add vibrancy and amenities to an area that has, for decades, been more run-downy.
The RFP states: "The City's primary objective is to sell the Site and reposition it as an active center for job-generating, tax-paying activity." Sounds great, in theory. Currently, there's a distinct lack of job-generation and tax-paying activities going on in the acres of parking lots and the building that once housed SciTrek, a place many millennial Atlantans remember fondly. The RFP elaborates that whatever supplants all of that nothingness should be a "24-hour urban environment," which is basically saying that it should be part of the city.
Whatever comes, the name will have a lot to live up to. Before the building now known as Boisfeuillet Jones stood there, the neighborhood occupying the site was a slum with unpaved streets and no electricity known as Buttermilk Bottom.
But the most immediate question might be: Without the Civic Center, where will Steve Harvey tape the next season of "Family Feud?"
— Michael Kahn
· Redevelopment of Atlanta Civic Center Site RFP [Invest Atlanta]
· City seeks proposals to redevelop Atlanta Civic Center [Saporta Report]
· Talk of Selling Atlanta Civic Center Is Getting Serious [Curbed Atlanta]
[ABOVE: Base image via Fourth Ward West neighborhood association.]