A metro Atlanta developer has the now-closed John B. Gordon School in East Atlanta Village under contract for a high-end rental unit project.
Contract terms for the project at 1205 Metropolitan Ave. were not released, but David P. Cochran, president and chief executive of Vinings-based Paces Properties, said his company's projected investment in redeveloping the property will be a little more than $15 million.
The project is just in its initial planning phase, but when complete, it would be three stories with 125 to 145 apartments, Cochran told East Atlanta Patch.
"We're going to build a very appropriate project," he said, explaining he wants the end result to be in keeping with the neighborhood. "It's a project we're very excited about."
The Paces Properties project injects some new life into the site, which sat unused for 19 years.
Initially, Cochran said the plan was to reuse to 41,000-square-foot building and rehab it, much like the former Bass High School in Inman Park became the Bass Lofts.
But the Gordon School, which operated from 1909 until 1995, when Atlanta Public Schools shut it down, has fallen into a serious state of neglect.
"That building has gone into massive disrepair," Cochran said, explaining there's no alternative to demolishing it.
Indeed, the building has at least one hole in its roof, several tree saplings growing inside and floors buckling in some parts of it.
Noting its history, Cochran — whose firm's prior projects include the Carlton in Virginia-Highland, LUXE in Midtown and Vinings Jubilee in Vinings — said he would look to preserve a bit of the Gordon School, by possibly reusing some of its bricks into the project.
The rental market is still strong, Cochran said, adding his firm holds on to most of the properties it develops.
East Atlanta Village is an attractive choice because there isn't much in the way of apartment rental options, he said.
There's the Enso apartments across from Glenwod Park and a few other scatterings of apartments, but nothing in the Village itself, he said.
The nightlife and amenities the Village offers, would be a natural draw for renters.
The now-defunct Inman Park Properties previously owned the property with plans for redevelopment that never materialized. IPP later went bankrupt leaving a number of properties across Atlanta in various states of development — and under foreclosure.
IPP's owner, Jeff Notrica, went to Savannah, where he now owns and operates an inn.