A historic property in the Old Fourth Ward is in the process of being demolished, possibly to make room for the construction of two dozen townhomes. Heavy machinery has been active — and destructive — this week at 345 Glen Iris Drive, a 1.55-acre lot where that road intersects with Ralph McGill Boulevard. By the end of the day Wednesday, a large chunk of the buildings — some of which date back to 1929 — was rubble, though most of the outer walls remained standing. The site was quiet on New Year's Day. Back in July, Curbed reported that John Wieland Homes was hoping to build 24 townhomes on the property amid concerns from the Old Fourth Ward Alliance. A Wieland spokeswoman could not be reach for comment this week, but it appears that's still the case. Property records don't list a sale since 2013, but the website for Wyatt Realty Company states they sold the property in November 2014. Signs on chain-link fences surrounding the property offer another clue: "Call John Wieland Homes at 770-996-1400 to report trespassers," they say.
According to a letter O4W Alliance president Kit Sutherland distributed earlier this year, the beef residents had with Wieland was two-fold: They preferred to see a development that a) retains the oldest buildings and b) sticks to the neighborhood's master plan, which recommends the site for mixed-uses, according to the letter. Seeing as the whole structure hasn't been demolished yet, it's entirely possible that Weiland is intending to repurpose the facade somehow. Maybe. But the mixed-use aspect could be lost; permits granted on Dec. 22 describe the project merely as "Glen Iris Townhomes." The main building at 345 Glen Iris was originally a factory for James G. Dodson's Ironized Yeast Company before being taken over by the Creomulsion Company (which still makes cough syrup). What's left is in rough shape, no doubt, but it would certainly appear to be (or, ahem, would have been) salvageable. Or maybe not.
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep