By David Pendered
The Atlanta BeltLine, Inc. is continuing negotiations, with perhaps up to five experienced real estate developers or practioners, to sell 1.5 acres of land that’s adjacent to Piedmont Park and now is a parking lot next to Park Tavern.
BeltLine officials would not disclose the identity of proponents or with whom they are pursuing a transaction. However, the officials did release a sign-in sheet from an April 27 meeting that was mandatory for anyone interested in buying the tract. The sale is to close on or before Dec. 1, according to a request for proposals the BeltLine issued.
The five who signed the sheet, and the companies they listed, appear in the following order:
- Joe Laster, of Abraham Properties, a custom homebuilder;
- Laurel Emery, who did not list a company. Emery’s LinkedIn page notes that for 16 years she’s been a self-employed project manager. Emery listed the following experience: “Create, plan and implement personal, not for profit and commercial projects with experience, confidence, grace and style.”
- Steve Bowen, of 10th and Monroe, LLC, which was incorporated by U.S. Micro Corp. founder Jim Kegley. Kegley owns nine properties in the area that are valued at a total of $3.2 million by the Fulton County Board of Assessors. Seven are on Monroe Drive near the BeltLine property; one is on Cresthill Avenue and abuts the BeltLine, and another is on Cresthill a few doors from the BeltLine. Kegley has been a major supporter of arts on the BeltLine and other charitable causes.
- Steve Morgan, of Avison Young, a commercial real estate company;
- Jack Murphy, who scratched out the company he had listed. Murphy’s LinkedIn page shows he works for Carter, a real estate firm that now specializes in infill, mixed use development.
The BeltLine parcel is located at 1016 Monroe Drive.
This land is part of the 7.4 acres where Trammell Crow Residential proposed, in 2005, to build two high-rise condo towers – one 38 stories and the other 39 stories. The bottom seven floors were to be for parking.
Trammell Crow Residential intended to buy the acreage from Wayne Mason, a Gwinnett County investor who had purchased the northeast segment of the BeltLine. Atlanta subsequently purchased through a third party the nearly five miles of rail corridor that Mason once owned.
BeltLine officials declined to identify the bidders or to say how many are involved.
Patrise Perkins-Hooker, BeltLine’s vice president and general counsel, noted in an email late Monday that the BeltLine does not disclose, “the names of responders to any solicitation regarding disposition of land. She also noted that Georgia’s Open Records Law does not apply to land transactions until the transaction is closed.
However, Perkins-Hooker did provide the sign-in sheet that contains the names of interested buyers who attended a mandatory pre-proposal meeting on April 27.
The 1.5 acres is a linear tract that begins at Park Tavern and stretches about 500 feet along the northeast side of the railroad tracks. The tract ends at Cresthill Avenue.
The BeltLine issued a request for proposals. The RFP does not suggest a number of residences or shops that are to be created.
The process for the transaction calls for the BeltLine to select the best project and deliver its recommendation to the board that oversees Invest Atlanta, the city’s development arm. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed chairs the board.