Opened: 1996 | Still in use
As you cross North Avenue on the way to this next stop, Techwood Drive becomes Centennial Olympic Park Drive. This nearly two mile stretch of road was christened with the new name in advance of the 1996 Olympic Games as new construction, renewal efforts, and rebranding spotted the downtown area in preparation for the global event. Now called North Avenue Apartments, the complex of dormitories opened on this site in 1996 as the Olympic Village.
The Olympic Village housed athletes during their stay in Atlanta for the Games. Nearly 10,000 individuals called these dormitories home for the summer of 1996. At the time, the new construction was top of the line compared to other dormitories in this area of college campuses. The complex had central air and each suite had a kitchen. During the Games, the common areas were occupied with pop-up restaurants, activities and arcades, and all kinds of entertainment.
This massive housing complex was not created solely for athletes. It was part of longer-term planning for the city of Atlanta, including the replacement of the city’s aging public housing stock. It was example of one of the many public-private partnerships that financed the 1996 Games. The plot of land that the Olympic Village occupies was part of Techwood and Clark Howell Homes public housing neighborhoods. The dormitories marked the one of the first components of new construction in the long-debated renewal of this housing. The large undertaking was made possible through a partnership with the University System of Georgia.
After the Games, the Village was gifted to Georgia State University to serve as their first on-campus housing. Called GSU Village, the facilities helped the university transition beyond being a solely commuter-driven school and spurred development of other dormitory options closer to their central campus buildings. By 2007, GSU struck a deal to transfer the complex to Georgia Tech.