Controversy Arises Over ADW Building On Proposed Demolition

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    By Special to the Daily World
    An Atlanta-based developer’s plans for new residential housing in the Sweet Auburn corridor is leaving some in the community with a sour taste over what they see is an erosion of history, according to an East Atlanta Patch report.

    The Integral Group wants to demolish the old Atlanta Daily World building at 145 Auburn Ave. N.E., just off the southwest corner of Piedmont Avenue and build in its place housing geared toward Georgia State University students.

    Integral Group does not own the property. It still belongs to some owners of the Atlanta Daily World newspaper, which now has its headquarters in East Point.

    But Integral Group’s Valerie Edwards, an executive vice president with the company, made a presentation Feb. 22 before the 11-member Atlanta Urban Design Commission that sought that body’s approval to tear down the building, which dates back to 1930.

    The Atlanta Urban Design Commission has deferred further discussion until March 28, after a three-member panel studies the impact of the proposal in detail and comes back with recommendations.

    Founded in 1928, the Atlanta Daily World is a newspaper focused on issues of importance to Black Atlanta.

    The media company was headquartered at 145 Auburn Ave. until the tornado of March 14, 2008, that ripped through downtown and surrounding neighborhoods.

    An Integral Group spokesman said the company does not own the property and referred inquiries to M. Alexis Scott, Atlanta Daily World publisher and chief executive officer M. Alexis Scott, who is the grandniece of the publication’s founder.

    GSU officials say it has no involvement in the proposed project. “We don’t own the property and we haven’t had any discussions about it,” GSU spokeswoman Andrea Jones told East Atlanta Patch Wednesday. “This was a surprise to us.”

    Meanwhile, the Historic District Development Corp., a nonprofit group that advocates for balanced preservation and revitalization of Sweet Auburn and the greater Martin Luther King Jr. National Historic Site, launched a petition that seeks to impress upon Integral Group officials the building’s significance.

    HDDC also sent a letter dated Feb. 29 to Georgia State University’s president, Mark Becker, to make the case.

    The Sweet Auburn corridor long served as the central district for Black business and commerce in Atlanta. A key part of that was the Atlanta Daily World, Jesse Clark, HDDC’s executive director told East Atlanta Patch.

    “It’s definitely a contributing structure to the historic district and a part of the story of Auburn Avenue,” Clark said. “If the

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