A rendering of the expanded Goat Farm.

The Goat Farm Arts Center in West Midtown has announced an ambitious mixed-use expansion plan that includes a new home for the Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia (MOCA GA), affordable housing, art studios, an independent arts-based hotel, office space for larger creative entities and more.

According to a press release, the goal is to turn the 12-acre site into “one giant cultural funding tool and generative ecosystem without draining existing public arts resources.” The Goat Farm has been funded by the private sector since it was founded in 2010 in a 19th century complex of former industrial buildings. 

“We’ve been learning, by trial and error, to be both an arts organization and developer for 10 years. We’re taking what we’ve learned and making something rare, culturally productive and economically self-reliant,” said Anthony Harper, founder of the Goat Farm Arts Center.

Plans include:

  • A new home for MOCA GA (Museum of Contemporary Art of Georgia) totaling 28,000 square feet;
  • 80,000 square feet of artist work spaces, entrepreneurial studios and fabrication spaces;
  • A mixed-income blend of affordable housing units, below market rate live-work spaces, below market rate residential units and market rate residential units totaling 200,000 square feet;
  • A 60,000 square foot four-story hub of artist-focused micro-living units with in-building work studios providing additional economically accessible / flexible housing as part of an experiment in co-living;
  • A standalone office building constructed by brand and digital agency Edgar Allan, currently headquartered at the Goat Farm;
  • Two restaurants-in-residence (concepts to-be-announced);
  • A café & roastery (concept to-be-announced);
  • A 125-room independent arts-based hotel in partnership with and co-developed by Tungsten Partners (currently in the early stages of due diligence);
  • A structure for larger footprint creative companies (also in the early stages of due diligence);
  • Multiple performance and exhibition venues dedicated to both emerging and established contemporary and experimental art, performance and music;
  • Multiple Atlanta based artist-in-residence programs offering complimentary studio space and career development programming;
  • A permanent movement arts performance residency; 
  • An artist run gallery with a national / international residency program with living and working space;
  • A classical training and fine art initiative and facility offering superior instruction in drawing, painting and sculpture;
  • A music education concept; 
  • An artist-run space dedicated to experimental, avant-garde and untapped perspectives and expressions;
  • A fabrication lab and gallery for small to large scale works in digital new media art;
  • To support arts programming, the Goat Farm Arts Center aims to award 40-60 grants totaling $500,000 annually.

“We’re taking on investors and partners to help us grow the cultural center in West Midtown & our platform.  We’re looking at several new potential projects around the country to add more innovative concepts to our portfolio in the coming months and years,” Harper said. The implications to the city’s creative community are considerable.  The Goat Farm Arts Center’s growth will inject a half a million square feet and a $250 million-dollar investment in Atlanta’s cultural infrastructure.  

The Goat Farm’s development team, Anthony Harper, Allie Bashuk, Mark DiNatale and Kris Knecht and its co-development partners, Tribridge and Tungsten Partners, will begin construction in winter 2019, with a projected spring 2022 completion date. More development partners will be announced as the phasing of the project progresses.  The Goat Farm will temporarily close while it remodels historic structures, builds out venues, constructs new buildings and adds new amenities.  

Collin Kelley

Collin Kelley has been the editor of Atlanta Intown for two decades and has been a journalist and freelance writer for 35 years. He’s also an award-winning poet and novelist.