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Mayor Dickens Halts Redevelopment Proposals At Atlanta Medical Center

Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center, which is slated to shut down on Nov. 1.

Atlanta Mayor Andre Dickens is blocking any potential efforts to redevelop the Wellstar Atlanta Medical Center, which is slated to close Nov. 1 in a decision that sent shockwaves through the city.

Dickens signed an executive order Monday that prohibits the City Planning Department from allowing any applications for rezoning, building permits, land disturbances, special administrative permits, subdivisions, replatting or lot consolidations for 15 parcels that make up the footprint of the Atlanta Medical Center in the Old Fourth WardThe Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports.

Dickens' order allows the city time to review the impact of the closure of the 460-bed hospital — one of just two Level 1 trauma centers in Georgia's capital — on the community and what should take its place, the AJC reported.

“The Atlanta Medical Center campus is a vital cornerstone of the Old Fourth Ward community,” Dickens told the AJC in a statement. "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."

Earlier this month, Wellstar Health System announced plans to shutter its operations at AMC after facing “decreasing revenue and increasing costs for staff and supplies due to soaring inflation,” Georgia Public Broadcasting previously reported. Dickens, in a previous letter to Wellstar, said the healthcare provider's plans to close would impact low-income residents in the city the most.

While the moratorium is set to lift Oct. 3, Atlanta City Council President Doug Shipman told the AJC that the council will likely extend it further to “buy us time to try and find a way in which we can have some kind of health care institution there instead of it being potentially used for other purposes.”