Atlanta Daily World building gets demolition reprieve from powerful city panel

By Maria Saporta and David Pendered

The red brick building on Auburn Avenue that once housed the Atlanta Daily World newspaper is getting a reprieve from the wrecking ball.

Rear view: Atlanta Daily World

This portion of The Atlanta Daily World would be demolished to make way for new development. Credit: Donita Newton

A developer’s proposal to tear down all but the front portion of the building was rejected unanimously by a powerful Economic Review Panel that reports to the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

The commission later voted unanimously to accept the panel’s report and deny the demolition permit.

Interestingly enough, no representative from the developer — the Integral Group — was on hand to make a case to demolish the historic building on Auburn Avenue.

Instead, all the speakers spoke against demolition of the building. Fulton County Commissioner Joan Garner, preservation leaders and numerous residents of the Old Fourth Ward and Martin Luther King Jr. Historic District passionately spoke of the importance of the building to Atlanta’s history.

Going forward, the Integral Group could challenge the ruling of the Economic Review Panel and the Urban Design Commission by filing an appeal with the Fulton County Superior Court.

Auburn Avenue development by Integral Group

The front of the 4-B-9 building was preserved, while its rear portion was demolished to make way for new construction. Credit: Donita Newton

Integral has developed the block adjacent to, and East, of the old Daily World building. For that project, Integral received permission to demolish some old buildings but did retain the front of the 4-B-9 building. The new development is a mix of apartments and commercial spaces.

Front of The Atlanta Daily World

The front portion of The Atlanta Daily World building would be retained and fit into a new development, under a proposal. Credit: Donita Newton

Tax records show the Daily World building was built in 1930 and contains 4,756 square feet of space on 0.11 acres of land. The building is listed as Class C office space.

The county valued the property at a total of $466,400. Of that, the land was valued at $322,500 and the building at $143,900. The values have not changed since 2009, the oldest record available on line.

Historic marker at The Atlanta Daily World

Historic marker at The Atlanta Daily World. Credit: Donita Newton

Atlanta Life building

The Atlanta Daily World shared Auburn Avenue with other historic businesses, including Atlanta Life Financial Group. Credit: Donita Newton

The Atlanta Daily World, rear view

Another view of the rear of the former Atlanta Daily World building, which would be demolished to make way for new development. Credit: Donita Newton

About David Pendered

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with nearly 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.
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