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Atlanta’s Constitution Building at Five Points sold; preservation calls for affordable housing

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Plans for the 1940s Art Moderne building also include offices, rooftop restaurant.

The red-brick building with curved front corner and horizontal window banding.
The proposed future of a long-neglected property.
via Invest Atlanta

A new chapter in the life of the long-languishing Atlanta Constitution Building at Five Points is about to begin.

Invest Atlanta voted Thursday to sell the Art Moderne building, which was built in the 1940s to house the newspaper, to developer Pope & Land and Place Properties.

Plans call for the building to house 67,000 square feet of loft office space—half of which is slated to be occupied by the City of Atlanta Planning Office.

Additionally, 2,500 square feet of ground floor retail and a rooftop restaurant will be housed in the old building, while an adjoining residential building will be constructed with 112 units and 142 parking spaces.

As part of the $2-million sale, 30 percent of the residential units will be reserved as income-restricted residences. The restriction will be in place for three decades—a long time, though not nearly as long as the architecturally significant structure has been left to decay.

While the building is known for its first tenant—the precursor paper to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution—the paper stayed in the building for only a few years. After 1953, Georgia Power moved into the facility, sticking around until the 1970s.

via Invest Atlanta

Ever since, the building has languished at the western edge of Underground Atlanta. Trees grow on the roof, and its boarded-up and bricked-over windows have shielded homeless encampments over the years.

The sale is welcome news, capping off a lengthy RFP process, which spurred consternation in preservationist circles.

According to documents submitted as part of the sale process, construction is slated to begin in June, with the offices complete in May 2019 and the residential building open by February 2020.

For a glimpse of the building at what was likely its nadir (and a preview of rooftop views), cover your nose and head to this CL feature from 2014.

Underground Atlanta

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