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Checking in on Atlanta’s ‘most annoyingly vacant’ spaces, years later

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It’s time for a city-spanning roundup that features spectacular changes ... and some STILL annoyingly vacant spaces

The potentially amazing Rufus Rose House—still annoyingly vacant five years later.
Google Maps

Five years ago, we identified a range of annoyingly vacant buildings and lots across the city, all seemingly primed for redevelopment.

When we circled back to the properties in 2016, some had been transformed into new and lively projects, while others sat festering.

Now, two years later, the sites continue to represent the range of development—and development potential—in 2018 Atlanta.

All aboard for a quick, highly visual tour:

The building in 2017, and in its original glory.
Google Maps and Atlanta Time Machine

Atlanta Life Insurance Co., 142-148 Auburn Avenue

Status: STANDING, STILL ABANDONED

Notes: Built in 1920 as the offices for Atlanta Life Insurance Company, the complex has been vacant since it moved out way back in 1980. The decaying property has seen no substantial investment, even as the streetcar line has helped bring changes to surrounding buildings.

...

The row of buildings.
Google Maps

29-33 North Avenue

Status: STANDING, POSSIBLY OCCUPIED

Notes: A block east of The Varsity, at least one of these properties may have found use since 2013 (and 2016), according to online records and Google Maps imagery. The low-rise building at left still appears vacant.

...

The building as it appears today, and in 1954 when it served as a hotel.
Google Maps and GSU Library Archives

Former Northwood Apartments/Hotel, 14 17th Street

Status: STANDING, STILL ABANDONED

Notes: Built in the 1930s at the southern end of Pershing Point, the brick building first served as apartments and later the Northwood Hotel. In its later years, it was office space, but it’s been left to fall into disrepair by owner Dewberry Capital.

...

The building as it stands today, and the proposed modification from 2015.
Google Maps and Wendy Darling/Terry Kearns on Facebook

Forsyth-Walton Building, 52 Walton Street

Status: STANDING, FUTURE UNCERTAIN

Notes: Following preservationist uproar over demolition plans in 2015, the century-old Forsyth-Walton Building was slated to undergo a modern rooftop addition. Since then, nothing has happened, structurally speaking.

...

The site today, and with the building still standing in 2012.
Google Maps and Google Maps

McMahan Shoes, 505 Courtland Street

Status: DEMOLISHED, VACANT LOT

Notes: The site has gone from having an annoyingly vacant building to being annoyingly vacant land.

...

The building at 505 Peachtree Street looks the same today as it did a decade ago. Rumor has it the adjacent Shakespeare Tavern would like to expand here, but Emory won’t sell.
Google Maps

505 Peachtree Street

Status: STANDING, STILL ABANDONED

Notes: This prominent, bland edifice wedged between a shuttered club and the Shakespeare Tavern Playhouse has stood on Atlanta’s main drag since 1920. Emory University owns the property, and indications are it has no plans to sell it, even as development heats up on the block following the Peachtree-Pine shelter’s closure.

...

The building today, and as it is planned to be restored.
Google Maps and via Invest Atlanta

Medical Arts Building, 384 Peachtree Street

Status: STANDING, PLANNED FOR ADAPTIVE-REUSE

Notes: One of Atlanta’s most visible, wince-worthy eyesores is still a mess, but hope resides in plans for The Stitch and an adaptive-reuse project that would restore the building to its former glory.

...

Google Maps

Bell Building, 25 Auburn Avenue

Status: STANDING, FUTURE UNCERTAIN

Notes: This early 1900s classical structure became a rallying point for preservationists in 2015 when ever-expanding Georgia State University announced plans to replace it (temporarily) with a parking lot. Those behind the “Save the Bell!” initiative have other ideas, but it seems things are still in limbo.

...

The red-brick building with curved front corner and horizontal window banding. via Invest Atlanta

Atlanta Constitution Building, 143 Alabama Street

Status: STANDING, PLANNED FOR ADAPTIVE-REUSE

Notes: The long-abandoned but architecturally significant building should soon see an extensive restoration as part of investments surrounding Five Points.

...

MLK, Jr. Boulevard at Broad Street—before and after.
Google Maps and NEWPORT US RE

HL Green Co. Building, Broad Street and MLK Jr. Drive

Status: STANDING, PLANNED FOR ADAPTIVE-REUSE

Notes: After languishing for years, the building is slated for an overhaul as part of Newport’s vision for a massive redevelopment in South Downtown.

...

Broad Street—before and after.

Buildings along Broad Street

Status: STANDING, PLANNED FOR ADAPTIVE-REUSE

Notes: Similarly, the buildings along Broad Street are slated for needed TLC, compliments of developer Newport, which now owns several blocks’ worth of old structures.

...

Google Maps

160 Trinity Avenue

Status: STANDING, APPARENTLY STILL VACANT

Notes: With adaptive-reuse projects happening across the neighborhood, logic says this building could see new life in coming years.

...

A three-story classical red brick building with large windows. NOVOCO

M.C. Kiser Building, 210 Pryor Street

Status: RENOVATED AND REOPENED AS APARTMENTS

Notes: Renovations launched last year to turn this building into apartments—another victory for South Downtown. It was built in 1923 as a shoe factory.

...

The abandoned brick mansion on Peachtree. Google Maps

Rufus Rose House, 537 Peachtree Street

Status: STANDING, FUTURE UNCERTAIN

Notes: Preservationists have long been pulling for the revival of this historic Peachtree Street residence, the last remaining in downtown. A mixed-use transformation announced in 2015 still hasn’t moved forward, and owner Liliana Bakhtiari (who ran a tough race for Atlanta City Council) has been mum on the status.

...

Construction on lilli Midtown, compared to the old yellow Agatha’s building.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta and Google Maps

Agatha’s, 693 Peachtree Street

Status: DEMOLISHED, LOCATION OF LILLI MIDTOWN

Notes: The crusty former home of Agatha’s dinner theater became bulldozer bait last year, making way for the nearly finished lilli Midtown tower, at left:

...

The building today.
Carter USA

Former J.C. Penney Building, 715 Peachtree Street

Status: RENOVATED AND REOPENED

Notes: Built in 1972, the 10-story structure served as offices for J.C. Penney for four decades. Abandoned since 2012, the old office was purchased by Carter for a reported $50 million, and then transformed to house new retail, coworking spaces, and now a rock-climbing gym.

...

The new condo project, and the vacant lot that once was.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta and Curbed Atlanta

Festering Lot 1, 1301 Peachtree Street

Status: LOCATION OF ONE MUSEUM PLACE CONDOS

Notes: Priced from $1 million to $3 million plus, some of Atlanta’s swankiest new condo products have claimed the empty lot across the street from the High Museum.

...

The site in 2013. It is now used as a gravel parking lot.
Curbed Atlanta

Festering Lot 2, 1230 Spring Street

Status: STILL VACANT

Notes: Used as a staging area for construction next door, a section of the site will one day become part of the extension of 15th Street.

...

The site in January, and back in 2016.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta and Google Maps

Vacant Funeral Parlor, 1270 Spring Street

Status: LOCATION OF NEARLY FINISHED SPECTRUM ON SPRING

Notes: Mid-rise apartments and 13,000 square feet of retail have risen where a blighted former funeral home once stood. Work should be complete on the building later this year.

...

The proposed development, and the state of the site today: a gravel parking lot.
Greenstone and Google Maps

Festering Lot 3, Spring and 14th streets

Status: STILL VACANT, PLANNED FOR NEW DEVELOPMENT

Notes: This space may be vacant, but plans are in the works for a two-towered mixed-use development.

...

The site before the building was demolished. Now, there is just vacant land.
Google Maps

Sophie Mae Peanut Brittle Plant, 317 North Avenue

Status: DEMOLISHED, SITE STILL VACANT

Notes: This large Old Fourth Ward lot next to Midtown has been cleared, and the rumor mill suggests townhouses are in the offing.

...

Construction progressing in January, compared to the view from the old Edgewood Avenue bridge.
Michael Kahn, Curbed Atlanta and Curbed Atlanta

Beltline lot, where Old Fourth Ward, Inman Park, and DeKalb Avenue converge

Status: BEING REDEVELOPED INTO EDGE APARTMENTS WITH BELTLINE EXTENSION

Notes: The last link in the Eastside Trail puzzle will be completed when this trail-straddling mixed-use development (as seen above, last year) is completed.