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In Sweet Auburn, dated YMCA building to be reimagined as live music venue

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Plans: Sweet Auburn Ballroom will liven up a largely derelict block off Edgewood Avenue

The exterior of the Sweet Auburn Ballroom in Atlanta. The facade has a colorful mural on it.
A rendering of the new venue.
Invest Atlanta

Back in the 1920s and 1930s, Jesse Hill Jr. Drive — then known as Butler Street — was a happening spot in the heart of Sweet Auburn.

While the area has been comparatively down on its luck for ages, with many of the historic buildings sitting vacant, the surge in investment around downtown as people move to the area (and the streetcar rolls through) is changing the tune.

Now, plans call for the creation of a 1,200-person live music venue in a former YMCA building just a block from Sweet Auburn Curb Market and the Atlanta Streetcar line.

Invest Atlanta has announced a grant to help bring the Sweet Auburn Ballroom to fruition. Thanks to the newly created Resurgens Fund, brought about by the Eastside TAD, the project will get $1 million in support.

Explains the agency:

“The Eastside TAD includes Sweet Auburn, the Old Fourth Ward, as well as parts of Grant Park, Cabbagetown, and Downtown Atlanta. As the redevelopment agent for the Eastside TAD, Invest Atlanta supports real estate development, streetscape improvements, and new economic activity in these neighborhoods” like new music venues.

Live Nation, who also runs the Tabernacle downtown — roughly more than double the size of the Ballroom — will develop and manage the venue

The project is one step in a larger plan to revitalize the block of Jesse Hill Hr. Drive between the inbound and outbound lines of the streetcar. The block also includes the historic Butler Street YMCA building.

How the building looks now...
Google Maps
The exterior of the Sweet Auburn Ballroom in Atlanta. The facade has a colorful mural on it.
And how plans call for the building to look.
Invest Atlanta

No word yet on a timeline.