State halts bidding process for sale of historic Olympia building downtown

By Maria Saporta

The state’s efforts to put the historic Olympia building at Five Points out for bid has been stalled for the second time.

The State Property Office was supposed to have opened bids on Tuesday, Oct. 23 at 2 p.m. when people interested in buying the historic building would have known how their offers compared to others.

“We have made a decision to not open the bids tomorrow for the Olympia building because we are still in negotiations with Coca-Cola on the lease for their sign on the roof,” Paul Melvin, spokesman for the State Property Office, said Monday afternoon. “We are going to redo the bid process, but this time it will only be for 30 days rather than 60 days.”

This is the second time the state has put the building up for sale. The first time, earlier this year, did not attract any bids. This time Melvin said it is expected that there will be several offers.

“There have been a number of entities that have been interested in the building,” Melvin said. “Once we finalize the negotiations with Coke, then those numbers will be included in the new bid package. There will be additional information for those bidding on the building.”

Coca-Cola placed a large neon side on top of the building in 2002. The company’s 10-year lease is set to expire by the end of the year.

Melvin did say that the state has flexibility on which bid it can accept.

“Once the bids have been submitted and opened by the Georgia Building Authority, the staff will review the bids and make a recommendation to which bid would be most advantageous to the Georgia Building Authority,” Melvin said.

In other words, the authority is legally able to select a buyer who may not have necessarily made the highest financial offer.

For more history about the building and more information on the bid, please read this earlier SaportaReport story.

Maria Saporta, Editor, is a longtime Atlanta business, civic and urban affairs journalist with a deep knowledge of our city, our region and state.  Since 2008, she has written a weekly column and news stories for the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Prior to that, she spent 27 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, becoming its business columnist in 1991. Maria received her Master’s degree in urban studies from Georgia State and her Bachelor’s degree in journalism from Boston University. Maria was born in Atlanta to European parents and has two young adult children.

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