An adaptive-reuse preservation project that could help breathe life into a Westside neighborhood’s historic commercial core continues to show signs of progress.
Developers aiming to turn the former Grove Theatre building into a mixed-use hub of art and activity are asking city officials to rezone the 1576 Donald Lee Hollowell Parkway property to MRC-2, or a Mixed Residential Commercial designation.
That doesn’t mean anyone will be living at the shuttered, circa-1941 Westside landmark following renovations.
The zoning change is necessary because the property’s current zoning—MRC-1—doesn’t allow nonresidential floor area to be located above street level, according to paperwork recently filed on behalf of property owner Rekeep Investments Inc. with the City of Atlanta’s Office of Buildings.
Renovation plans call for adding add offices, storage space, and a break room on the second floor while retaining the theater use at ground level. The building’s throwback façade will be restored, according to project renderings.
Elsewhere around the interior will be flexible performance and studio spaces for arts and culture partners, along with a slot for a café or other retail, project officials have said. Plans call for 10,400 square feet of total leasable space.
The project’s rezoning hearing with the city is scheduled April 4.
Six years ago, the Grove Park Foundation acquired the former Grove Theatre in hopes of rebirthing the space into a local marketplace and center for education programming and multigenerational cultural arts.
Invest Atlanta, the city’s economic development arm, committed $830,000 to help make that happen last year. The funding for what’s officially called the Grove Park Performing and Cultural Arts Center will be sourced from the Perry Bolton Tax Allocation District Resurgens Fund, officials said.
That follows $2 million in private financial commitments in April from Bank of America and Chick-fil-A—$1 million from each company—for the project.
The theater is located about three miles west of Georgia Tech, just south of Westside Park, the city’s largest greenspace. Across the street is the KIPP Woodson Park Academy, a K-8 school founded in 2019 in partnership with Atlanta Public Schools.
Grove Park Foundation has partnered with local nonprofit Urban Perform Wellness and Atlanta’s Resource for Entertainment and Arts to provide dance, health, and fitness programs.
The renovation project is expected to cost $4.5 million overall and take 12 months to complete, according to Invest Atlanta. No construction timeline has been specified.
It’s not the only signs of commercial investment coming to this section of Grove Park.
Roughly a block west of the theater site, Atlanta rappers Killer Mike (now a Grammy winner) and T.I. have partnered to bring back legendary seafood restaurant Bankhead Seafood, which had closed in 2018. A banner hung on that project’s roof deck in late 2023 proclaimed that it’s coming soon.
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