At the western edge of Old Fourth Ward, where the neighborhood abuts downtown, the hulking, orange-brick Atlanta Civic Center complex sits abandoned, its future uncertain.
Since 2014, questions have swirled about the sprawling complex on Piedmont Avenue, following the city’s announced plans to sell the 50-year-old building to raise municipal funds and encourage development.
A planned sale of the building to a Texas developer—who hoped to create a rather uninspiring mixed-use development that would have fit in well in any suburban area—fell through. Then Steve Harvey’s Family Feud decamped. And the future looked pretty bleak.
But now, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that Mayor Kasim Reed is pushing for the Atlanta Housing Authority to purchase the site. The news was revealed at a recent City Council Finance/Executive Committee meeting, though few additional details were offered.
The news reportedly surprised city councilmembers, with Councilman Alex Wan indicating he was “intrigued” by the idea and looked forward to learning more. Hizzoner said more news would come in as little as two weeks.
The Atlanta Housing Authority—one of the largest such groups in the nation—has spearheaded efforts to provide affordable housing to low-income families across the city for decades.
Previously, it took nearly a year after the initial sale announcement for plans to materialize for the property. Houston-based developer Weingarten Realty was poised to spend $30 million to acquire the site, and another $300 million on a development that would have included a grocery store, residences, and office space.
Expect more news out of the Mayor’s office in the coming weeks.