Who owns these Atlanta eyesores?

6 examples of property (mis)management

Atlanta is riddled with vacant properties, many of them development efforts that stalled during the recession. But other decaying structures have been that way for years—decades even—often in the middle of burgeoning neighborhoods. Here’s a closer look at a half dozen of the most confounding examples.

1655 Peachtree Street
Catty-corner from SCAD Atlanta’s main building

What A 1962 12-story apartment building known for the metal peach on its roof
Valued at $4 million
Last used as Offices
Empty since 2005
Owned by Peach Condominiums LLC
Backstory In 2005, it was prepped for condo conversion, but work abruptly stopped. The owner, who has been tied up in legal disputes, has been using the building to hold up a cellphone tower and an animated billboard. On a recent walk past the building, we spotted a tree growing in the former atrium.

142 Auburn Avenue

What A pair of buildings, one built in 1892 and the other in 1936, that once housed the historic Atlanta Life Insurance Company
Valued at $1.3 million
Last used as Offices for Atlanta Life
Empty since 1980
Owned by Historic District Development Corporation, which has overseen other Sweet Auburn–area projects
Backstory HDDC raised hopes for renovation after purchasing it in 1997, but nothing has been done; the facade remains boarded.

Bankhead Avenue

What A 1912 bridge over the CSX tracks
Valued at N/A
Last used as A commuter artery carrying 4,000 cars daily
Empty since 1991; closed due to structural problems
Owned by The City of Atlanta
Backstory The city has put this bridge on multiple project lists over the years—with proposals to rebuild it and reconnect the road (now Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway)—but nothing has come to fruition so far.

2540 Piedmont Road
Adjacent to the Lindbergh MARTA station and south of Sidney Marcus Boulevard

What A 1964 restaurant surrounded by 50,000 square feet of parking
Valued at $1.5 million
Last used as A Shoney’s
Empty since 1999
Owned by GAPR1 LLC, one of Shoney’s limited liability companies
Backstory Shoney’s was purchased by Atlanta-based restaurateur David Davoudpour in 2006, after this location closed. The property, still held by the company, has remained untouched while Lindbergh has boomed.

384 Peachtree Street

What The Medical Arts Building, a 1927 office tower
Valued at $2.4 million
Last used as Offices
Empty since The early 1990s
Owned by Three Eight Four Peachtree LLC
Backstory Interstate construction drove most tenants out in the 1980s, and a high asking price—combined with 2005 fire damage—has kept it empty. (A parking deck still operates in the rear.) The building has been on Central Atlanta Progress’s redevelopment wish list for years.

693 Peachtree Street
Across the street from the Fox Theatre

What A two-story, 6,000-square-foot brick structure built in 1922
Valued at $1 million
Last used as Agatha’s Mystery Theater
Empty since 2005
Owned by Southerly Hotels
Backstory After 18 years, Agatha’s was forced out in 2005 when a previous owner wanted to build condos on the lot. According to Agatha’s (since relocated downtown), those plans were scuttled by electrical problems that made building anything larger a moot point.

Photographs by John E. McDonald.

This article originally appeared in our February 2015 issue.