Georgia Bulletin

The Newspaper of the Catholic Archdiocese of Atlanta


Catholic Center Offices, Staff Moving To Smyrna

By ANDREW NELSON, Staff Writer | Published January 20, 2011

The exodus of the Catholic Center of the Atlanta Archdiocese from midtown Atlanta to Smyrna is picking up momentum.

The Georgia Bulletin left its offices on Jan. 19, joining other archdiocesan ministries and offices already in its new headquarters on Lake Park Drive. And the remainder of the nearly 300 staff members of the Catholic Center are scheduled to move to Cobb County within weeks.

“With the relocation to the new Chancery building, the various offices serving the archbishop will once again be in a position to work together as a community, instead of offices working at various locations and feeling isolated,” said Msgr. Joe Corbett, the vicar general and moderator of the curia.

The new headquarters for the 750,000 Catholics in North Georgia is now in Smyrna, just outside the Perimeter and near Cumberland Mall. The move puts the archdiocesan administrative office about 12 miles from its longtime home at 680 West Peachtree St., Atlanta.

Catholic Charities Atlanta is the exception. The nonprofit will remain in the West Peachtree Street building until it is sold, and then the organization is aiming to relocate its services out in the community.

Joseph Krygiel, chief executive officer of Catholic Charities Atlanta, said its administrative staff will move to Smyrna, but the direct services offices will move to locations more accessible to clients.

Immigration and refugee resettlement offices will have to find space that is easy for people to get to, perhaps in the Buford corridor and Chamblee area, he said.

The nonprofit is starting satellite offices around Atlanta. The first was started at St. John Neumann Church, Lilburn, where its staff partnered with the parish to offer counseling, immigration assistance, housing counseling and crisis pregnancy services.

“We would like to establish these regional offices in the northeast, northwest, southeast, and southwest areas of the greater Atlanta area to better serve our parishes and community,” Krygiel said.

The new Catholic Center building, located at 2401 Lake Park Drive, Smyrna, has 96,000 square feet, about three times the size of the midtown offices. At one point, archdiocesan ministries and departments worked out of four locations because of space constraints at the Catholic Center.

The Smyrna building, once home to the Sunshine Mortgage Corp., was purchased for $3.3 million, according to Brad Wilson, chief financial officer of the archdiocese. The archdiocese budgeted a total of $10 million as part of the purchase, renovation, furniture and move, Wilson said. He said the archdiocese tapped its line of credit to purchase the building. No money from the Archbishop’s Annual Appeal was needed, he has said.

Departments are moving into the business park office in stages, Deacon Dennis Dorner, chancellor, said. The Georgia Bulletin joins the Hispanic ministry, the black Catholic ministry, and other departments already in the new building in moving into the renovated areas. All the departments in the midtown office will start to move beginning around Feb. 1, he said.

The Chancery moved in 1969 into the midtown neighborhood, first in space at the northwest corner of West Peachtree and Fourth streets. This consolidated offices that were scattered across the city, including in the rectory basement at Christ the King Cathedral. The Chancery moved again in 1980 to the current 33,000-square-foot building that once held Atlanta Housing Authority offices.

Msgr. Corbett said the West Peachtree property 30 years ago was ideal for the needs of the time with its room for growth. Then the growth outran the size of the building.

“That wonderful future growth started several years ago and caused the Chancery to put desks anywhere humanly possible—from several people to an office to desks in hallways!” he wrote in an e-mail.

The new facility allows the archdiocese to let go of leased property departments have been using and storage units, he said.

The current property is for sale. The land, which stretches between West 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. Real estate firm Richard Bowers and Associates is handling its sale or lease.

The new address is 2401 Lake Park Drive, S.E., Smyrna, GA 30080.

New Georgia Bulletin Contact Numbers:

Georgia Bulletin

Office (404) 920-7430

Fax (404) 920-7431

2401 Lake Park Drive, S.E., Smyrna, GA 30080

Mary Anne Castranio, Executive Editor

(404) 920-7440

Gretchen Keiser, Editor

(404) 920-7439

Tom Aisthorpe, Advertising Manager

(404) 920-7441

Michael Alexander, Staff Photographer

(404) 920-7432

Andrew Nelson, Staff Writer

(404) 920-7433

Stephen O’Kane, Staff Writer

(404) 920-7436

Thomas Schulte, Graphic Designer

(404) 920-7438

Tina Levitt, Office Manager

(404) 920-7437