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Abandoned Medical Arts Building could become downtown’s next hotel

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The circa-1927 structure’s façade is protected by a historic preservation easement

a picture of the medical arts building
The nearly century-old building has been vacant since 1995.
Google Maps

A 1920s-era building planted at the corner of downtown’s Peachtree Street and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard is staring down the barrel of a much-needed revamp.

According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, plans have been filed with the city to redevelop the historic building into the neighborhood’s next boutique lodging option.

The proposal calls for the 12-story structure to be transformed into a 160-key hotel complemented by 2,000 square feet of ground-floor retail and restaurant space.

Built in 1927, the building has been moldering next to the Downtown Connector—the potential project site for the mammoth Stitch project, which would cap the highway with new construction and green space—since 1995, when a major fire ravaged the tower, the paper reported.

Leading the design charge is Atlanta-based architecture firm Cooper Carry, the company tasked with handling the controversial $50 million renovation of Brutalist architect Marcel Breuer’s last creation, downtown’s Central Atlanta Library.

Cooper Carry caught plenty of flak from historic preservationists during the design phase of the library’s restoration, as the firm proposed cutting windows into the arguably iconic 1980s building’s facade.

A rendering of the Medical Arts Building in Atlanta. The facade is brown brick.
A rendering from the last time GBX Group planned to revive the old building.
via Invest Atlanta

The Medical Arts Building was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2016, according to Atlanta INtown.

And, as David Mitchell, the Atlanta Preservation Center’s director of operations, pointed out, building owner GBX Group—formerly called Global X Properties—in early 2017 donated the Medical Arts Building’s façade to Easements Atlanta in exchange for federal redevelopment tax credits.

In effect, Easements Atlanta, an organization that works to protect and preserve pieces of Atlanta history, will ensure the nearly century-old exterior remains unscathed during renovations.

In 2017, GBX Group secured a $3 million grant via Invest Atlanta, when plans for a hotel or office space conversion initially arose. At that time, the firm estimated the revival would cost in the neighborhood of $40 million.

Now that a hotel is in the works, it’s uncertain how that figure will change.

And now, it appears, real estate investment firm Kim King Associates has signed on to the project, too.