The Georgia Trust

2015 PRESERVATION AWARDS: MARGUERITE WILLIAMS AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE IN REHABILITATION

THE COMMONS AT THE IMPERIAL HOTEL
Atlanta, Fulton County

Atlanta's Imperial Hotel opened in 1911 and is listed both in the National Register of Historic Places and as a protected Historic Landmark Building by the City of Atlanta. The nine-story building, prominently located on Peachtree Street in downtown Atlanta, has provided rehabilitative housing for low-income residents since 1996.

In recent years the Imperial Hotel was facing foreclosure and the displacement of its residents. In order to save the building, Columbia Residential and National Church Residences partnered to form a development team that collaborated with the State Historic Preservation Office, the National Park Service and the Atlanta Urban Design Commission to design a project that would meet historic preservation guidelines and allow for the use of both state and federal rehabilitation tax credits. To further insure success of the project, seven separate financing sources were secured. Additionally social services were provided to residents who would be displaced during the rehabilitation project, and priority was given to former residents to encourage their return.

The overall rehabilitation project of the Commons at the Imperial Hotel resulted in 90 state-of-the-art living units for the formerly homeless and persons with special needs, a tenant support and services suite, meeting rooms, computer stations, a lobby and fitness room. The project achieved LEED Gold certification, demonstrated by a 32% improvement in overall energy efficiency. Annual energy costs have been decreased by $257 per unit, allowing for a more affordable overall rental cost to be passed on to the building's low-income residents.

The Commons at the Imperial Hotel meets an important social, public policy and market need. The rehabilitated historic building provides safe, stable, and highly efficient housing and supportive services strategically located near access to transit, health facilities, community institutions and employment opportunities.

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