The Dunwoody City Council approved the purchase of properties in the Georgetown area that will likely be developed as parks.
The council at its Aug. 22 meeting discussed the “PVC farm,” a site originally graded for apartments that bears the tell-tale exposed pipes of unfinished development, and a combined 24-acre purchase on North Shallowford Road of land to be used for parks and road improvements.
The city will pay nearly $12 million for the properties: $5 million for the PVC farm, $1.4 million for 5.2 acres at 4471 North Shallowford Road and $5.5 million for 19 acres at 4553, 4555 and 4575 North Shallowford, according to officials.
The property at 4471 North Shallowford will be used to extend Peachford Road to a new end point at Dunwoody Park Drive. The 19 acres will be used for parkland.
“I think this is a good opportunity to be able to add both park land and an opportunity to begin the implementation on the Georgetown and transportation master plan by acquiring the first piece of properties related to the Peachford Road extension,” City Manager Warren Hutmacher said.
Money for the purchase of the 5-acre parcel will come from the city’s cash reserves. Money for the 19 acres is contingent on passage of the city’s planned $33 million parks bond, Hutmacher said. Dunwoody residents will vote on the proposed bond issue in November.
Hutmacher said additional properties will be needed to complete the road project.
“The reason we acted now instead of trying to get all three pieces at one time is because the property was for sale. The easiest way to acquire property at the lowest price is when you’ve got a willing seller,” Hutmacher said.
The city also agreed to reimburse the seller, American Medicorp, $600,000 for the cost of demolition of buildings on the former Emory Hospital site.
Councilman Denis Shortal said he could not stand behind the 24-acre purchase when the city had agreed to purchase the nearby PVC farm already.
“There’s a lot of concern out there about the financial market,” Shortal said. “It’s just not a good time to go into debt.”
Councilwoman Adrian Bonser said it would be a benefit for the area.
“For the most part Georgetown has lost its identity,” Bonser said. “This is an opportunity to reinvent themselves. This is a tremendous redevelopment opportunity. It can become a little economic engine.”
The negotiations on the 16-acre “PVC farm” have as been under way for months, but Hutmacher asked for the council’s approval at the meeting.
Hutmacher said the property, located near Chamblee-Dunwoody and North Shallowford roads, was appraised at $6.5 million, well above the $5 million the city will pay for the property.
“For convenience, the city has the option to finance the property,” Hutmacher said. “We have cash in the bank. But this will allow for cash flow.”
The city will pay off the property in 2018 at an interest rate of 2.34 percent.
The PVC farm property will likely be developed as a park, though its use has yet to be determined.
Dunwoody resident Beverly Armento told the council during a public hearing that the property would be good for the area.
“Georgetown really needs a shot in the arm,” Armento said.