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Along Atlanta Beltline, warehouse demo marks changes at Murphy Crossing

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Site on southern crescent of Beltline has potential, but ultimate plans still unclear

A possible redevelopment scheme from a 2009 study.

Along the Beltline’s Westside Trail, a 16-acre site known as Murphy Crossing sits abandoned, ready for revitalization.

Once the home of State Farmers Market, it’s now a collection of old industrial buildings that have seen better days. Owned by the Beltline, the site offers beaucoup potential for livening up.

Last year, the Beltline sought proposals for how to reuse the site. From that process, a study was completed, highlighting how some of the site’s 12 remaining structures could be leveraged as assets much like Navy Yards in Philadelphia or Ponce City Market.

Now, demolition of some of those buildings has begun, hinting that progress could be around the corner.

Demolition of the warehouse.
Old Atlanta State Farmers Market

Photos show that a steel truss structure — known as Building 11 — which dated to the 1940s has been brought down. Once the site of watermelon sales, the building purportedly had a cameo in the Atlanta-based tv show the Popeye Club as the site of a watermelon eating contest. In the 1960s, the building was allegedly used to house bootleg liquor confiscated by the state.

But as the Beltline comes through the neighborhood, many older structures are falling for new development. Clearly, watermelon eating contests and bootleg liquor sales don’t rank up there as historic uses.

The demolition seems to fall into the “stabilization” phase of work identified in the study, which includes:

  1. Targeted removal of buildings that are encumbrances or non-salvageable
  2. Installation of restrooms in public areas
  3. Installation of utilities to support new uses
  4. Construction of temporary roadways and parking spaces to access the interior of the site
  5. Installation of fencing to close off areas not currently open to the public or that present safety challenges
  6. Development of green space for site activation
The plans for site stabilization, with the Beltline running to the north.
Atlanta Beltline

Therefore, it’s not unreasonable to expect to see some park-like features coming to the property soon. Even a partial redevelopment of the site could be a major Westside Trail attraction and, if done right, a boon to the neighborhood.