At one of Old Fourth Ward’s more architecturally interesting intersections, plans are moving forward to convert an old wedge-shaped brick structure into modernized offices that wouldn’t look out of place on the nearby Eastside Trail.

Invest Atlanta’s board recently approved $489,000 to help rehab a former ministry at 597 Auburn Avenue the agency describes as historic but distressed. With its porchless facade and shape configured to the site, it's like nothing else in surrounding blocks. 

Plans call for starting construction this month to convert the 2,700-square-foot building into offices and programming space for Remerge, a community nonprofit that serves Sweet Auburn.

The building, located where Auburn Avenue meets Old Wheat Street, has been rezoned for commercial uses. LottaFrutta market’s colorful, original location is located across the street to the west. On another corner is the neighborhood’s iconic, Miami-inspired Wigwam condo complex, an Art Deco landmark.

The 597 Auburn Avenue building's location, between the Connector and Eastside Trail. Google Maps

Invest Atlanta

The Syntony-designed renovation project is expected to cost $1.44 million overall. Invest Atlanta’s portion of the funding will be sourced from the Eastside Tax Allocation District's Community Empower Fund.

Beyond the Eastside TAD grant, funding sources include $390,000 in philanthropic donations and $535,000 in owner equity, per Invest Atlanta.

Plans call for a full renovation to bring the building to code with the addition of dedicated workspaces, community meeting spaces, and a mezzanine level. The adaptive-reuse makeover is scheduled to be finished in January.

According to Invest Atlanta, the redevelopment will allow Remerge to expand its growing, current operations and staff at 340 Auburn Avenue—its home base since 2018—where the agency has assisted more than 3,000 families and businesses. Remerge plans to relocate its Community Building Studio programs and staff to the renovated building, while converting its existing location into an arts center and hub for community outreach.

The building's recognizably wedged facade where Auburn Avenue meets Old Wheat Street. Invest Atlanta

How a new mezzanine level will function. Remerge, via Invest Atlanta; designs, Syntony Design

The larger space at 597 Auburn Avenue will allow Remerge to provide new programming with its Women’s Microentrepreneur Coaching Program. That endeavor “supports economically vulnerable women around Atlanta who are ready to take their small businesses or side gigs from surviving to thriving,” per Invest Atlanta.

As MARTA’s planning video shows, the Atlanta Streetcar’s five-stop extension to the BeltLine and Ponce City Market would pass directly in front of Remerge's new Auburn Avenue building.  

In the gallery above, find images cataloguing the building’s current state—and how it’s expected to look and function post-makeover.  

Planned layout of the revised Auburn Avenue property. Remerge, via Invest Atlanta; designs, Syntony Design


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