By GEORGIA BULLETIN STAFF | Published December 10, 2009
The Atlanta Archdiocese is moving out of its Midtown neighborhood after close to 40 years.
The new headquarters for the nearly 750,000 Catholics in North Georgia will be in Smyrna, just outside the Perimeter and near Cumberland Mall. The move puts the archdiocesan office about 12 miles from its current home at 680 West Peachtree Street.
The office building, once home to the Sunshine Mortgage Corp., was purchased for $3.3 million, according to Brad Wilson, chief financial officer for the archdiocese.
The new building, located at 2401 Lake Park Drive, Smyrna, has 96,000 square feet, which is much larger than the current building and will bring all the offices of the archdiocese under one roof, long a goal of Archbishop Wilton D. Gregory.
Currently, the archdiocesan offices work out of four separate buildings. Departments will move into the business park office in stages. The transition is expected to be complete in July 2010.
Wilson said the archdiocese tapped its line of credit to purchase the building.
“Our plan is to eventually sell the 680 West Peachtree property to pay off the short term borrowing. No money from the Annual Appeal was needed,” he wrote in an e-mail.
The archdiocese first moved in 1969 into the Midtown neighborhood at the northwest corner of West Peachtree and Fourth Streets. It consolidated offices that were scattered across the city, including the Christ the King rectory basement.
It moved again in 1980 to its current 33,000-square-foot home that once housed the offices for the Atlanta Housing Authority.
The property had been for sale for months before the drop in the economy. The land, that stretches between W. Peachtree and Spring streets, is valuable real estate, across from the AT&T Tower and close to the Georgia Tech campus. It is valued at $3.4 million by Fulton County.
Archdiocesan departments will move to the new building in stages as the offices are prepared for the influx of workers. During December, the following offices and ministries are expected to move to Smyrna: the Stewardship Office, the Office of Formation and Discipleship, Black Catholic Ministry and Hispanic Ministry.
In July, nearly all departments and ministries will relocate to the new facility. However, Catholic Charities Atlanta will remain in Midtown until the current building is leased or sold.