By Sean Keenan
An aging, vacant building in the Atlanta University Center is headed for a nearly $10 million restoration that’s expected to provide amenities for a mixed-income community being developed nearby.
Built in 1937, during the Great Depression, Roosevelt Hall is the last remaining structure from the former University Homes, the nation’s first public housing development for African Americans.
Located at 660 Atlanta Student Movement Boulevard, the building served as a community center for the neighborhood, and, at various points in history, it has been home to barber shops and a grocery store, among other uses.
On Wednesday, the Atlanta Housing (AH) board of commissioners approved a plan to enter into a general construction contract with FS360, a local minority-run firm, to renovate the place.
FS360’s bid beat out those from dozens of other firms, and AH officials say the general contractor is committed to using minority subcontractors for about a third of the work.
The overhaul, which is expected to kick off in coming weeks and could wrap up in early 2021, is projected to cost roughly $9.7 million and bring the space back to life with new offices, a business center and computer lab, a library, retail space and a covered rooftop green space.
The two-story, 18,000-square-foot building will ultimately fit into developer Integral Group’s mixed-income community Scholars Landing, which is supposed to one day comprise more than 500 residences — many of them apartments, plus 33 for-sale townhomes.
More than half of those units would be priced as affordable, according to AH materials.
(Header image, via Atlanta Housing: An old photo of Roosevelt Hall)
I want to thank my niece, Mrs. Deirdre Bolden, for sending me this information as I grew up in University Homes and remember Roosevelt Hall as a place where we had lots of fun there. Glad to know that it is going to be refurbished for future use.