Demolition may be one option for the historic Atlanta Constitution Building, but saving it is still the preferred scenario, officials say.
Invest Atlanta, which issued a request for proposals for redevelopment of the historic building in October, created a furor last week when they added an addendum that allowed for proposals to demolish the building.
But this week, the city’s investment arm insists their first goal is still to save the building.
“The preferred redevelopment approach is to renovate the building for commercial or residential reuse,” Invest spokesperson Matt Fogt wrote in response to emailed questions. “The addendum posted last week is merely an addition to the process that allows for other compelling redevelopment ideas to be considered.”
The building adjacent to the Gulch in South Downtown was completed in 1947 and is an Art Moderne style structure. It has served various purposes during its lifetime and is currently owned by the city.
In the original RFP, Invest Atlanta asked for proposals that would include “purchase, renovation, and reuse of the approximately 95,000 square foot former Atlanta Constitution Building.”
The RFP notes the historic aspects of the building saying, “The building’s sleek, streamlined Art Moderne style directly references Atlanta’s rail origins and today stands as one of few remaining monuments to this time period in the city’s history.”
The document also notes the substantial development happening in the surrounding areas such as Underground Atlanta, Philips Arena and Georgia State University.
The addendum issued on Nov. 23 contains much of the original wording but adds wording that would allow for the demolition of the building.
One option it lists is the purchaser can “Demolish the existing improvements and develop a new building (or buildings) for commercial or residential use based on the highest and best use determined by the respondent.”
The timeline for bids has also been extended until Feb. 1, 2017, so it may be a while before the public finds out whether the building will be saved or demolished.