Mayor says Atlanta Medical Center can’t be repurposed after closure

ATLANTA — Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens wants to make sure Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center is not redeveloped when it closes in November – at least not yet.

He signed an executive order Monday morning, banning any repurposing of the 25-acre northeast Atlanta site. The mayor says he wants the city to have time to review the impact of the hospital’s closure.

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That moratorium will last until the next city council meeting on Oct. 3 when council members are expected to extend it.

Dickens said he’s had “extreme concerns” about the hospital’s closure after Wellstar made the announcement without consulting his office.

The executive order signed Monday requires the Department of City Planning to deny any applications for rezoning, building permits, land disturbances, lot consolidations and more.


Dickens said the hospital’s closure will hit low-income communities the hardest. And he has said he wants at least part of the site to continue to be used for health care.

The mayor was not immediately available for interviews, but he sent this statement:

“The Atlanta Medical Center campus is a vital cornerstone of the Old Fourth Ward community.

“The City of Atlanta has an essential interest in ensuring that any reuse or redevelopment of this property is in line with the community’s needs and master plan.

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“This moratorium will provide the city necessary time to review the impact of the hospital’s closure on the community and consider possible rezoning.”

Wellstar is closing the hospital Nov. 1, saying it lost too much money and it is no longer feasible to keep it open.

Channel 2 Action News spoke with city council President Doug Shipman on Monday. He said the moratorium buys the city time to try to find another health care provider for the property.

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