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Mayor Announces New Developer Stepping In to Buy Roberts Property

In a sudden turn of events, the Peachtree Corners City Council said Wednesday night that a private developer had put a contract on the 20.6 acre tract of land across from The Forum.

In a surprise announcement at the Special Called City Council meeting Wednesday (Feb. 27) night, Mayor Mike Mason said that a new buyer had stepped in and put a contract on the tract of land across from the Forum.

Peachtree Corners city leaders had decided earlier to purchase the 20.6-acre tract known as the Roberts Property to keep the property from being developed into a 250+ apartment complex. But with a contract from a private buyer now in place, that will no longer be necessary.

The new developer's plans for the site is for a mixed-use development and will be in keeping with the architecture of The Forum across the street said Mayor Mike Mason.

"We were surprised and pleased a market alternative presented itself," said Mason. "The city's objective was to stop apartment development on a key location that we believed should have commercial or mixed use zoning."

As a precaution the City Council last night approved a backup contract for the purchase of the property.

"As a safeguard, we put in the back up offer so that if this prospective buyer fails to close, we will be in a position to step into their shoes," the mayor said.

The City Council moved into executive session shortly after calling the meeting to order and returned with the news.

"The city worked long and hard for an alternative solution before deciding to buy the property as a last ditch effort," said the mayor. "This action by the prospective purchaser certainly meets our original objective and confirms our instinct about this site."

Details of the contract were not available other than the new developer is purchasing the property from Lennar (the current owner) for the same price that the city had negotiated.

Citizens who want to provide input on the development should plan on attending the next public meeting of the 2033 Comprehensive Plan scheduled for April 24. Visit the city's website for additional information on the Comprehensive Plan.

Also, take the online survey (you will not need to add any personal information). The answers you provide will be used by Pond and Company to collect data for the city's Comprehensive Plan.

 

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Brian March 05, 2013 at 07:22 PM
Exactly!
Brian March 05, 2013 at 07:23 PM
Here's hoping for a gambling entertainment complex with live shows.... if you know what I mean.
Randal Tart March 05, 2013 at 07:32 PM
Brian, Here's the link to the zoning application for 4.318 acres of frontage. http://www.cityofpeachtreecornersga.com/pc-rzc2013-0001_1_.pdf Take a look at the site plan to see specifically the portion of the property to be rezoned from R13 to C-2 (commercial). Carving off this part of the entire parcel and dramatically increasing its value means the remaining portion has a lower cost basis - making the price per unit of the 250 apartment units low enough to be a feasible project. That is why there was activity after over a decade of none. Don't get me wrong, I thought this property should have been zoned for retail/office use many years ago. I just reject the argument that the council had no better choice than to buy the property. And I reject their assumption that they have a mandate from the voters to do so. Council members have told me that their legal advisors indicate that it is LEGAL for the City to buy this land. Surely this is NOT what was sold to the voters, IMO. Again, all of this drama could have been prevented with a little foresight.
Brian March 05, 2013 at 07:43 PM
Thanks Randal. So the irony is that becoming a city actually facilitated the exact kind of development the city was formed to prevent? If I actually thought that this was due to nothing more than incompetence, I'd call it a conspiracy.
Duluth2 March 05, 2013 at 08:49 PM
Perhaps that's the purpose of expanding the charter to add redevelopment powers as a 4th service.

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