Atlanta may seek developer for ex-Constitution building

The city wants to do something with 143 Alabama St. SW, a long-vacant office building across from the Five Point MARTA station. PETE CORSON / pcorson@ajc.com

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The city wants to do something with 143 Alabama St. SW, a long-vacant office building across from the Five Point MARTA station. PETE CORSON / pcorson@ajc.com

Something may finally be done with that old, vacant, downtown building at 143 Alabama St. SW with the trees growing out of the roof. Its owner, the city of Atlanta, is moving to hand the structure off to the Invest Atlanta economic development authority so it can seek a developer for the property.

“We have a 100,000-square-foot building that has had some homelessness problems, and we haven’t had a tenant in there in decades,” Jalal Slade, senior policy adviser on real estate for the city, told a meeting of the City Council Finance/Executive Committee. “So we’re looking to see if we can find a developer who can partner with us in redeveloping that site.”

The committee endorsed two ordinances, to be acted on by the full Council. One would authorize the mayor to grant Invest Atlanta an option to buy 143 Alabama; the other would have the city acquire title to an adjacent parking lot from entities including the state of Georgia and MARTA, so Invest Atlanta can present a complete package to potential developers.

The five-story, masonry-clad, Art Moderne building was built for the Atlanta Constitution newspaper and housed its operation from 1947 to 1953. Georgia Power had offices there for a number of years. The city eventually ended up with the property.

Besides the trees, windows are bricked over, boarded up or punched out, and some rooms are open to the weather. The building is in a prominent location, on the corner of Alabama and Forsyth streets across from the Five Points MARTA station.