Study process underway for the future of Atlanta Medical Center hospital site

A photograph of the now defunct Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center in Atlanta. (John Spink/Atlanta Journal-Constitution via AP)

The city of Atlanta is moving ahead with plans to study the vacant Old Fourth Ward Atlanta Medical Center site amid Mayor Andre Dickens’ push to extend a moratorium on the site’s redevelopment.

A spokesperson for Dickens says the study is needed as city officials continue to debate possible uses for the 25-acre AMC complex.

“The study is the next step as we work to see that property is put back to productive use that benefits the community. Wellstar abandoned this site on short notice. Under the mayor’s leadership, the city has taken a number of measures to ensure residents know where to get health services,” Dickens’ spokesperson said in an emailed statement.

“The mayor also put the moratorium in place to allow for understanding of the impact of this property on the community. Community engagement is part of this study and will be conducted by City Planning to gain input on future uses of the site—including use for medical and health services.”

The city’s plans include hiring a consultant to help gather community input on redevelopment ideas.

Wellstar Health System closed the nearly 500-bed AMC facility last November, citing ongoing declines in revenue.

Dickens’ proposal to continue the city’s moratorium on redevelopment passed through the City Council’s zoning committee this week, and the full City Council is expected to consider it at its upcoming meeting.

Thus far, at least one council member, Amir Farokhi, has spoken out against another extension.

The District 2 Atlanta city councilmember recently told the Atlanta Business Chronicle he’d like to see redevelopment at the AMC site move forward sooner rather than later.

Citing declines in revenue, Wellstar Health System closed AMC last November — roughly six months after shutting down its East Point AMC-South emergency department.