Fill In the Blanks

Remember when this was a club? “Jaguar,” I think it was called. Now it’s just a very empty building on a very prominent corner. But that’s only half of what’s wrong. The other half is what’s not there.

Thousands of people live and work a 10-minute walk from that building, and that’s leaving aside the thousands of people who pass through Arts Center Station every day. If any of them need to buy anything other than prepared food or coffee, they have to go to the Publix near Midtown Station or in Atlantic Station, or to the CVS at Peachtree and 6th. That erstwhile nightspot would be the perfect site for a Walgreens or for someone local to open a drugstore/market combo. That parcel of land is pretty small, but a two-level or slightly downsized version could fit. It wouldn’t even need to be open 24 hours..

Two blocks south is this derelict duo, West Peachtree and 13th(whose appearance is not at all enhanced by the ever-droopier power lines). The one on the left is brick, so it might be salvageable…in a few years when we’ve run through the surplus of condos. It’s hard to think of something useful to build there, given the size and position of the lots.  How about replacing these two condemnations-in-waiting with a tiny park?

Another notable nowhere is the restaurant graveyard at the corner of Piedmont and Morosgo. Corner of Piedmont and MorosgoI’ve lost count of the number of establishments that have met their doom there. Whatever occupies this site next, it obviously shouldn’t involve food. Same goes for its sister eyesore next door, the former Shoney’s.

Put those two lots together, though, and there’s enough space for a two-level gym built right on the street, with parking behind and beneath. With the Buckhead Crunch and Lindbergh Bally both sunk, there’s not a full-service fitness facility in that neighborhood any more. People who pass through Lindbergh Station could get their workouts in right before or after work without having to think about parking.(Of course what really ought to be on that corner is a stop for the light rail line that should be running the length of Piedmont from Turner Field to Roswell Road, but that’s a whole different fantasy.)

Finally, let’s not leave out everyone’s favorite conspicuous void: The Mistake Streets of Buckhead.
The whole “Rodeo Drive of the Southeast” notion might need some adjustment at this point. Obviously, some degree of fancy-ness is required to generate the “destination” aspect Ben Carter is so hot on, so you can’t stack it with stores in the vein of Forever 21. But you also can’t keep a development going on platinum yo-yos and yoga mats for teacup poodles. Even people who can buy $1000 purses aren’t going to come around for one every week.

So, what DO we need right there? Other than the MARTA station that should have been built there 20 years ago, that is.

I could go on and on (I really could) about all the nothings that ought to be somethings around here. What empty or underutilized space is bugging you? If you had several million dollars burning a hole in your pocket, what project would you put some of the metro area’s roughly 275,000 unemployed people to work on?

4 Comments so far

  1. Paul (unregistered) on October 9th, 2010 @ 6:25 pm

    How about a redevelopment of any and all surface parking lots throughout Midtown/Downtown?

  2. Tamra (unregistered) on October 9th, 2010 @ 10:35 pm

    Yeah, it would be nice if, whenever people start building again, some incentives could be put in place for developers to do a lot of in-fill in the CBDs. Especially on sites that once HAD buildings, before they were demolished and replaced with parking.

  3. abby on October 10th, 2010 @ 11:52 am

    If money weren’t an issue I would love to do something with the Medical Arts Building –,_Georgia). It’s such a sad waste, wonderful location, and such a gorgeous building. But it’s been abused and neglected, and it’s been sitting vacant since the mid 90s. I assume that its major problems are its size, fire damage, and general disrepair. It’s also a historic building, and it would be a shame to tear it down. This is the building that kept getting wrapped in ugly 12-story billboards for Holiday Inn and Metro PCS.

    The other gorgeous old building that kills me is the Atlanta Constitution Building in 5 points – see It looks like it’s on track to be demolished to make way for a multimodal passenger terminal project in the next few years, though.

  4. Jason (unregistered) on October 10th, 2010 @ 3:52 pm

    The problem with most of the locations mentioned is that the land values are too high to justify building anything only a couple of stories high (the Lindbergh property being possibly an exception). If the existing buildings were in good shape, then a temporary use could be cost justified but most of them are really tear downs waiting to happen.

    The Terminal Station blog did an interesting financial analysis of the Medical Arts building early this year ( If it is correct, it is going to be a long time before it is renovated. Hopefully the math does work out before it is too late for the building. The Atlanta Constitution/Georgia Power building is way beyond saving. Heck, it has a full sized tree growing through the roof! Between the asbestos and the decades of exposure to the elements, it would be too costly to save and there wouldn’t really be much original left in the “renovated” building.

    What would be great would be if some of the abandoned buildings and underutilized ones were bought up and demolished in order to recreate missing parts of the street grid. There are a very limited number of east-west routes that take you all the way across Midtown. And this isn’t about cars. For a pedestrian it is annoying to try to walk three blocks west and ending up walking two or three times as far as one should because the streets keep terminating into parking lots surrounding by chain link or old building’s loading dock. The resulting street grid would be better for everyone and would likely increase the attractiveness of the surrounding properties for development.

    It would be nice to turn the empty lots into temporary parks until they’re developed but I’m guessing that there are both liability issues and a question of cost.

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