Jan 26, 2022 - News

Atlanta neighbors want say on Nabisco plant

Atlanta's former Nabisco plant
The former Nabisco plant in southwest Atlanta. Photo: Atlanta Preservation Center

Neighbors and preservation advocates are closely watching what will happen to the Nabisco plant in southwest Atlanta that operated for decades before closing last year.

Driving the news: Mondelez International, which owns Nabisco, closed the 36-acre site and sold the property to global real estate company Prologis. More than 400 people lost their jobs, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

  • The plant at the corner of Murphy and Arden avenues was a staple in the Sylvan Hills neighborhood since the mid 20th century.

A Prologis spokesperson confirms to Axios that it purchased the property but did not share details about the next steps in redeveloping the site.

What they’re saying: David Mitchell, executive director of the Atlanta Preservation Center, tells Axios that residents in adjacent neighborhoods are organizing meetings and reaching out to Prologis with the hopes of having more input in the decision.

  • “Places like this are your visual reminder and connection to the story and experience of 20th century Atlanta,” he says.

Flashback: Construction on the plant began in the late 1930s, and the facility opened in the early 1940s.

About 200 workers went on strike in 1972 when a white manager fired a Black employee for “insubordination,” according to an article that appeared in The Great Speckled Bird, an alternative newspaper in Atlanta.

  • The strikers, most of whom were Black, demanded an end to discrimination based on race and sex and for Nabisco to hire more Black workers in certain departments.

Zach Adriaenssens, who lives in the Capitol View neighborhood north of the facility, tells Axios that he wants to see Prologis consider a use that could incorporate additional housing in the area.

Adriaenssens, who is also the chair of Atlanta’s Neighborhood Planning Unit X, said he hopes any future use Prologis brings to the site will not be mired in controversy like Sterigenics, its Cobb County tenant.

  • Sterigenics came under fire in 2019 when a report found higher risks of cancer in communities surrounding its Atlanta Road facility because of its emissions of ethylene oxide.
  • “We want to make sure what they are planning is something that’s not going to harm the health of the community and is something where people in the community can realistically work,” Adriaenssens says.
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