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Displaced South Downtown art gallery finds new home at Adair Park’s The MET

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Plus, the project will transform a century-old water tower into a coffee and cocktail bar, leaders say

a rendering of the under-redevelopment warehouse district
Carter’s The MET has secured a well-known new tenant.
Photos, blueprints, and renderings courtesy of Carter/MET Atlanta

More than a year after the Mammal Gallery was displaced from South Downtown due to a mysterious fire nearby, the popular arts and music venue has found a new home at Adair Park’s mixed-use redevelopment project The MET.

Beyond a sizable music and arts venue, the project is set to include a two-story coffee and cocktail bar infused into the property’s water tower—one of only two bars to operate within such a tower on the planet, officials say.

In February 2018, the Mammal Gallery, as well as neighboring event spaces Eyedrum and Murmur and recording studio Broad Street Visitors Center, was forced to leave its Broad Street location after a vacant building down the block caught fire, killing a man camped inside and eviscerating the structure’s interior.

Now, developer Carter, the firm responsible for the Turner Field area’s revamp, has welcomed the Mammal Gallery into the mixed-use redevelopment at the former Metropolitan warehouse district, a 1.1-million-square-foot freestanding building between Metropolitan Parkway and Murphy Avenue.

The onsite water tower.

The Mammal Gallery’s owners, Brian Egan and Chris Yonker, told Atlanta magazine they recently inked a 10-year lease with Carter. That deal will yield Mammal use of the century-old water tower on site, as well as 6,100 square feet of warehouse space built in 1914 by Coca-Cola cofounder Asa Candler.

Egan and Yonker expect that building out their new space will take until March 2020 and cost between $500,000 and $750,000.

To help the cause, the duo has launched a GoFundMe campaign striving for $75,000 worth of support. Thus far, the effort, started on March 25, has reeled in about $3,000.

Mammal Gallery’s new location, near the West End MARTA Station and the Beltline’s Westside Trail, stands only about a mile from its South Downtown dwelling, which is part of developer Newport US RE’s mammoth redevelopment of dozens of neighborhood properties.

The old water tower, Egan and Yonker told Atlanta magazine, is expected to be converted into a cocktail bar—and maybe recording facilities—that serves coffee during the day and is surrounded by outdoor patio space. It’ll be designed by Wrong Studio and programmed by Isabella Cornwell of 8Arm and INK, project leaders say.

The warehouse space Mammal is taking over is envisioned as a performance venue that, much like the downtown site, would help propel the careers of up-and-coming artists and musicians.

A detailed look at Mammal’s plans.

The MET also recently secured new tenant Chil & Co., a digital agency and production studio that came from downtown’s Switchyards complex.

Carter also just completed a new courtyard at The MET. That’s slated to be surrounded by communal hangouts and a new entrance from Murphy Avenue, which is anticipated to open this month.

A tower close-up.