Developer and land owner abandon plans to demolish Atlanta Daily World building

By Maria Saporta and David Pendered

What an amazing turnaround.

Just hours after the Atlanta Urban Design Commission unanimously voted to deny a demolition permit for the historic Atlanta Daily World newspaper building on Auburn Avenue, the developer and building owner said they are dropping their plans to demolish the building.

Front of The Atlanta Daily World

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

In a statement, Alexis Scott, publisher of the Atlanta Daily World; and Valerie Edwards, executive vice president of the Integral Group, said they would not appeal the decision of the Atlanta Urban Design Commission.

Here is the statement they issued:

The Atlanta Urban Design Commission (“UDC”) denied the demolition application Integral submitted on January 31, 2012. We appropriately respect the board’s research, deliberations, and decision concerning the former home of Atlanta Daily World newspaper. Neither seller nor buyer plans to appeal the UDC’s decision.

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

As longtime residents of the Sweet Auburn community, we are especially encouraged by the recently conveyed commitment to preserve the building that formerly housed the Atlanta Daily World, as expressed by certain government leaders and historic preservationists.

As these individuals and groups bring forward practical solutions to the sale and restoration of 145 Auburn Avenue, we look forward to working with them.

Atlanta Life building

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

Historic marker at The Atlanta Daily World

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

Rear view: Atlanta Daily World

This portion of The Atlanta Daily World was to have been demolished to make way for new development. Credit: Donita Newton

Integral remains committed to its projects in the corridor and the former home of the Atlanta Daily World remains available for purchase.

The Sweet Auburn District was Atlanta’s original Live, Work and Play community. It once embodied an economic vitality that we all should seek to restore.

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5 comments
AtlantaDNA
AtlantaDNA

After doing independent financial analysis in preparation for the hearing before the Urban Design Commission, it was deemed that the property can likely be restored profitably. Now the hard work of finding a suitable investor has begun. Any help in restoring historically significant buildings are welcome. It's time our city reverses its trend of readily destroying our history. What other world-class city does so? We have taken our symbol of the phoenix far too literally...

Burroughston Broch
Burroughston Broch

 @AtlantaDNA Look at the current Guest Column on this website. The author states:

"Our group will actively seek to expand the sources of funding from local, state and federal governments to help developers put together financing to operate on Auburn Avenue.

The Integral Group’s demolition application was rejected partially by the Economic Review Panel for not exploring these sources of funding. We will work to ensure that these sources are more openly available."

 

The application already had private funding but was rejected because they hadn't explored governmental funding.

 

So, is your "suitable investor" private or governmental?

 

atlurbanist
atlurbanist

 @AtlantaDNA "the property can likely be restored profitably" -- I hope this assessment bears fruit. I'll be very happy to see this building repaired and in use. Adaptive re-use of old buildings is the best way to go for the environment and you make an excellent point about how Atlanta doesn't need to be tearing down any more of its history.

 

But I'll be very disappointed if this ends up sprouting trees and being a eyesore that discourages development nearby. Leaving this building as is and preventing the proposed redevelopment of the space is a risky move. Best wishes for that risky paying off.

Burroughston Broch
Burroughston Broch

time for what my grandfather called a "yankee" fire. burn the building for the insurance value. maybe some sweet auburn denizen will do ms. scott a favor and get the "do-gooders" off her back.

atlurbanist
atlurbanist

Awesome -- that makes 2 deteriorating, unusable (in it's current state), former newspaper buildings downtown. I just hope this one doesn't end up with trees growing out of it as well.

 

I also hope that this isn't a bad omen for the promise of economic development along the streetcar route.

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