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Best affordable housing news: Imperial Hotel

Staff Pick

Atlanta Beltline Inc. purchased and converted a Reynoldstown loft into affordable housing. And a developer plans to renovate a Section 8 tower located at Ponce de Leon and Highland avenues. But none compare to the Imperial Hotel. Since 1997, the majestic eight-story building located along Peachtree Street in the heart of downtown Atlanta has provided an affordable place for low-income Atlantans and formerly homeless men and women to live. But in 2010, the historic building - Little Richard reportedly performed in the hotel's lounge - went into receivership and appeared to be in jeopardy. Rather than be converted into pricey condos by developers eager to charge a premium for the picturesque views, two affordable housing developers, working with the city and state, moved in to renovate the building and keep it affordable. Columbia Residential and National Church Residences plan to spend the next year - and millions of dollars - renovating the building's interior and exterior. Once complete, the overhauled building will feature larger units, space for care providers, and, if they wish to return, affordable homes for residents who were relocated during renovations. Thank God the building, which is located near transit and medical facilities, didn't turn into yet another expensive condo tower.

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