Downtown’s Imperial Hotel building purchased, extensive renovations planned for affordable housing project

Landmark brick building will continue to house low- to -moderate income and formerly homeless


  • saddle.tramp via Flickr
  • Imperial Hotel

In late 2010, the Imperial Hotel, the majestic and historic eight-story building at the corner of Peachtree Street and Ivan Allen Boulevard, fell into receivership.

The move was considered a devastating blow to the city’s most needy citizens. For the last 15 years, the 102-year-old building — which in June 1990 was occupied by homeless people and advocates — had provided an affordable place to stay for Atlantans living on low incomes and formerly homeless men and women.

Well, last week, Atlanta-based affordable housing developer Columbia Residential and National Church Residences, a nonprofit provider of senior and permanent supportive housing, quietly scooped up the property — once one of the city’s leading hotels and home to nightlife hotspots — after nearly a year of discussions with the state and city over funding.

Rather than converting the single-occupancy rooms into pricey condos — or just sit on the building until the market recovered — the joint venture over the next two years plans to, according to a press release: “Continue to serve low- to moderate-income residents exiting homelessness and others with special needs by providing supportive services in a secure, high-quality affordable rental housing community.” Current residents will have to be relocated prior to the renovation but will have the option to return.