The possible sale and renovation of Underground Atlanta is like riding a rollercoaster. The deal is up, then it’s down, then it’s steaming uphill again.
The latest news is promising, however. According to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution’s Scott Trubey, the sale of Underground Atlanta to WRS Real Estate Investments “cleared a key hurdle recently when a city board approved some technical changes to the sales agreement, including a higher purchase price.”
That new price is $34.5 million, a sizeable jump from the previous price tag of $26 million. WRS says the increase is because the transaction now includes streets that the Atlanta City Council recently voted to privatize within Underground and nearby state land that has been added to the property.
The unanimous vote by the Downtown Development Authority board was a key step to resolve title issues that have complicated the process of selling Underground for a private redevelopment, Mayor Kasim Reed told the AJC.
WRS, best known for suburban strip malls, has been trying to buy the struggling downtown mall for more than two years and has proposed a $300 million overhaul, according to Trubey.
No good deed goes unpunished, of course. Some downtown residents say the city is in a rush to finish the long-simmering sale to a group that hasn’t been responsive to the community.