CNN Center’s future could include hundreds of apartments, owner says

CNN announced in January it would vacate its namesake building to move to Midtown
Views of the CNN center in Downtown Atlanta as seen on Monday, January 30, 2023. (Natrice Miller/

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@

Credit: Natrice Miller / Natrice.Miller@

Views of the CNN center in Downtown Atlanta as seen on Monday, January 30, 2023. (Natrice Miller/

As CNN employees leave downtown, the owner of the iconic CNN Center is reportedly considering transforming at least some of the complex into housing.

Florida-based real estate firm CP Group, which acquired the facility in 2021 as part of a joint venture, said about 300 apartments could be incorporated into the building’s multiyear redevelopment plan, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported Monday. No other details on the redevelopment plan were released.

CP Group Partner Chris Eachus told the Chronicle the firm plans to share an early redevelopment vision with the public within the next three months. A representative for CP Group told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution it “will be making no further comment at this time.”

In January, CNN announced it will leave its namesake building in stages this year, moving the company’s entire operation to renovated space at the 30-acre Turner Techwood campus in Midtown.

Eachus said the network’s departure presents an opportunity for a complete reimaging of the 1.2-million-square-foot campus.

“We have the unique opportunity to have the building completely vacant,” Eachus told the Chronicle. “Having the right infrastructure, the right bones of a building — all those things are what you need to make (a project like this) work.”

CP Group and Florida-based firm Rialto Capital Management paid nearly $164 million to buy the landmark property from CNN’s former parent company, AT&T, in 2021. In addition to CNN’s office space, the building houses other office tenants and a food court.

CNN Center consists of five buildings, which Eachus said presents a redevelopment challenge. Central Atlanta Progress, a downtown Atlanta civic organization, recently requested plans for developers to take stock of underutilized buildings that have the potential to be converted into housing, a strategy many cities are pursuing to make use of obsolete office space.

Many downtown projects aim to inject housing into the city’s central business district. Newport’s South Downtown development, CIM Group’s multibillion transformation of of The Gulch into Centennial Yards and Underground Atlanta’s reimaging under new ownership all include adding apartments downtown.

Eachus told the Chronicle that office space will remain “a meaningful component,” adding the existing retail and food court will also be preserved. A $96 million acquisition loan on CNN Center will come due in 2024. CP Group and its partners would likely have to obtain additional financing in a challenging commercial lending environment to fund improvements to the complex. But CP Group declined to comment on its financing or capital structure.