The Atlanta City Council voted June 2 to sell the Boisfeuillet Jones Atlanta Civic Center located at Piedmont Avenue and Ralph McGill Boulevard, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle
As a result of council members’ 10-4 vote, the 380,000-square-foot facility will be turned over to the city’s economic development arm, Invest Atlanta, the Atlanta Business Chronicle reported.
Council members who voted in-favor of the sale cited the Civic Center being underutilized and a drain to the city’s budget, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle. Those who were against the ordinance believed specific plans for the future of the facility needed to be in place before the sale.
Associate Professor in the Department of Real Estate at Georgia State, Karen Gibler, said the City of Atlanta will have to make tough decisions regarding revitalizing the city.
“The City of Atlanta has some tough choices to make in terms of what assets to hold onto as good investments for the city in terms of both direct cash flow to the city as well as the catalyst for economic development and improved quality of living in the city,” Gibler said.
She also said the location is close enough to Georgia State to be influenced by the university’s growth along Piedmont Avenue, and any redevelopment involving housing or retail would also help serve students.
Located minutes from campus, the aging facility which opened in 1976 has lost many of the shows it once attracted to venues like the Cobb Energy Center, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Sophomore Kris Bridges said he is disappointed to see the Civic Center go.
“It’s one of the reasons I love science. It used to be a center where they’d showcase different acts of science and technology. That ended a long time ago,” Bridges said.
Bridges also said while the the sale of the Civic Center does not affect Georgia State directly, it does demonstrate the gentrification of the area and may or may not be a sign that the University is expanding which is good for the school.
Sophomore Juliet McDade said the situation has the potential to be beneficial to Georgia State students.
“The new development could assist in revitalizing the area as well as create new jobs and other opportunities for students,” McDade said.