Atlanta’s latest conversion of a former church isn’t bringing more condos, apartments, or an improv comedy club.  

Instead, the old Holy Temple Deliverance Church—a 1980s building located near the heart of East Atlanta Village—is being reborn as a sizable creative space lead by an artist whose colorful, playful, eye-catching murals dot the city.

Atlanta-based artist Greg Mike, founder of ABV Gallery + Agency, bought the 1206 Metropolitan Avenue property and is in the process of transforming it into a contemporary art gallery, studio, event space, and retail store.

Clad in black, the reimagined, 8,500-square-foot church space, as designed by Kronberg Urbanists + Architects, aims to allow for more “expansive creative opportunities for artists, musicians, and brands alike,” according to a project announcement this week. The event space will feature works by local and international artists, while other walls throughout the property will be blank canvases for rotating public artwork.

Mike’s studio and gallery is currently located on Auburn Avenue—in a space six times smaller than the church building. 

Courtesy of Greg Mike; designs, Kronberg Urbanists + Architects

Logics says the new ABV location, set among dive bars, local eateries, and boutique shops, could bolster creativity—in a city recently named the country’s best for creatives.

The Marley EAV apartment complex (formerly Alexan EAV) is across the street. And a long-shuttered Long John Silver’s where a specialized Starbucks is planned stands immediately to the west.  

Records indicate the .3-acre church property sold for $875,000 last year.

Location of the former church and its Flat Shoals Avenue parking lot, in relation to EAV restaurants and bars. Google Maps

The church property in 2021, located just east of Moreland Avenue with the Marley EAV apartments at right. Google Maps

Mike has traveled the world the past 15 years painting murals—most emblazoned with his iconic “LOUD” characters—while working as a creative director for clients and brands.

“As an artist, when I walk into this space my imagination runs wild,” Mike said in prepared statement. “It’s been a dream of mine to build a creative epicenter where wild ideas can become a reality. After 10-plus years of dreaming, concepting, and planning, it’s finally happening.”  

The artist’s team noted this week that ABV currently counts a worldwide collective of more than 500 artists, but the larger EAV space will mean “the possibilities for Atlanta and the creative industry are endless.” 

Work on the former church, as led by Bayard Builders, is expected to finish in 2023.

In the gallery above, find more context and plans for the future EAV gallery and event space. 

East Atlanta news, discussion (Urbanize Atlanta)