Atlanta Daily World building sold; retail, housing planned

The Auburn Avenue building that once housed the Atlanta Daily World, an 86-year-old African-American-owned daily newspaper company, was sold Wednesday to a developer who plans to restore it to retail and residential space.

In a joint announcement after closing a new deal, descendants of the Atlanta Daily World’s founder, William A. Scott II, said the building was sold to Atlanta-based Gene Kansas Commercial Real Estate. Financial terms were not immediately disclosed.

Gene Kansas said he plans to “restore the building and bring it back to its former vibrancy.” Kansas told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution construction on the mixed-use development will begin within six months.

“It’s great for the historic district,” Kansas said of his plans. “It’s a small project with great potential,” Kansas said.

M. Alexis Scott, publisher of Atlanta Daily World and granddaughter of the newspaper’s founder, would not disclose the selling price. She said the deal preserves the building, and its new life will contribute to the redevelpment of Sweet Auburn.

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“I’m happy that we were able to come a way to save the building,” Scott told the AJC. “I think the future is only going to be bright.”

The building at 145 Auburn Ave. was heavily damaged by a tornado in 2008, and the newspaper moved to a new site in East Point.

Kansas said details are still being finalized on the cost of the new project, which will be designed by Gamble and Gamble Architects. The firm is also designing the redevelopment of the Clermont Motor Hotel on Ponce De Leon Avenue into a boutique hotel.

To help remind people of the building’s history, Kansas said he plans to keep the plaques on the door that recognize the Atlanta Daily World’s 86 years of print journalism. At one point, the company printed more than 40 separate newspapers at its plant on Auburn Avenue.

Read more about the deal in Thursday’s Atlanta Journal-Constitution and on MYAJC.com for subscribers.

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