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Path to closure of Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter revealed

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Atlanta City Council moves to negotiate with property owners to take over, put in police and fire station

The closure of Peachtree-Pine homeless shelter, rumored since last month, has a clear(er) path moving forward.

At yesterday's Atlanta City Council meeting, a resolution was passed requiring the city to move ahead with negotiations for acquiring the property. As expected, plans call for a consolidated police, fire, and SWAT facility to be placed on the site.

According to the adopted resolution, more than half of all calls for fire assistance in Atlanta come from within a five to nine minute response distance from the location, making it ideal for just such a facility.

Of course, those stats go a long way toward fulfilling what many see as the ultimate goal: eviction of the embattled organization through the procurement of the shelter and two adjacent parcels owned by St. Luke’s Episcopal Church.

Tensions were high in the council chambers during a contentious debate, with 11 Alive describing the meeting as "fiery." Police removed at least one of many vocal opponents. Concerns stem from the fact there seems to be no plan in place for relocating those served by the shelter.

The use of eminent domain is reportedly possible, should negotiations fail. If that were to be the outcome, preservationists have expressed concern that the shelter's beautiful old building, which once served as an automotive parts warehouse, could be the unintentional victim in the fight. It's unclear if the city would repurpose the building or demolish it.

The shelter's removal could occur by the end of November, paving the way for city-led redevelopment of the parcel.