Sep 27, 2022 - News

Mayor halts redevelopment of Atlanta Medical Center site

Atlanta Medical Center

Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center will close by Nov. 1. Credit: Getty Images

The city is taking steps to map out what's next for the soon-to-be-vacant Atlanta Medical Center once Wellstar closes the hospital by November.

Driving the news: Mayor Andre Dickens on Monday issued an executive order to temporarily stop future redevelopment on the 25-acre site in Old Fourth Ward.

  • Dickens said in a statement that the moratorium will give Atlanta time to "review the impact of the hospital’s closure on the community and consider possible rezoning."
  • The order will remain in effect until Oct. 3, the next City Council meeting.

What they're saying: City Council member Amir Farokhi told Axios in a statement that pausing development to "ensure best land use and best healthcare access going forward is important."

  • "I appreciate the mayor's leadership on this issue," he said. "The Atlanta Medical Center properties have served a vital public health role for the neighborhood and the region."

Yes, and: Council president Doug Shipman told Axios that Atlanta Medical Center is an Old Fourth Ward asset that offers doulas and water births — two specialties not offered at many places — and a teaching hospital where residents can train for the profession.

  • "Our long-term health care system is healthier when we are teaching residents in our city and in this neighborhood, and so I think that that also is something we have to really consider," said Shipman, an Old Fourth Ward resident.

Catch up quick: Wellstar announced earlier this month that it will close the hospital by Nov. 1. The closure means Grady Memorial Hospital will be the only Level I trauma center in metro Atlanta that can treat gunshot wounds and traumatic brain injuries.

What we're watching: Shipman said the City Council will take up Dickens' request to extend the moratorium at its Oct. 3 meeting, and he’s optimistic that it will receive support.

Go deeper: A plan to fill the gap left by the hospital closure


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