Atlanta’s notorious tradition of bulldozing historical buildings to construct new structures and parking lots is increasingly being challenged by a new foe — hotel operators.
Over the past decade several turn-of-the-century downtown Atlanta office buildings, including the Carnegie, Rhodes-Haverty and Glenn towers, have found new life as hotels, some after spending years abandoned and forlorn.
And it’s not just their Tiffany windows, gold relief or grand staircases that are drawing the operators. The main appeal is their location on prominent thoroughfares like Peachtree and Marietta streets, which attract the abundant foot traffic that is critical to a hotel’s survival, experts say.
“Having the right location is key,” said Mark Woodworth, senior managing director of consulting firm PKF Hospitality said. “There’s no question that older buildings with significant architecture are attractive, but it doesn’t make sense if they are not where the customers need to be.”