Mayor halts redevelopment of Atlanta Medical Center site

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

The city is taking steps to plan the next step for the soon-to-be-vacant Atlanta Medical Center once Wellstar closes the hospital by November.

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

  • Dickens said in a statement that the moratorium will give Atlanta time “to consider the impact of the hospital’s closure on the community and to consider possible rezoning.”
  • The ordinance will remain in effect until October 3, the next city council meeting.

What they say : City council member Amir Farokhi told Axios in a statement that it was important to put development on hold to “ensure the best use of land and access to health care in the future.”

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

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

  • “Our long-term health care system is healthier when we educate the residents of our city and this neighborhood, and so I think that’s also something we really need to consider,” Shipman said, a resident of Old Fourth Ward.

Catch up fast: Wellstar announced earlier this month that it will close the hospital by November 1. This closure means Grady Memorial Hospital will be the only Level I trauma center in metro Atlanta capable of treating gunshot wounds and traumatic brain injury.

What we are looking at: Shipman said the city council would accept Dickens’ request to extend the moratorium at its Oct. 3 meeting, and he’s optimistic he’ll receive support.

Go further: A plan to fill the void left by the hospital closure

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