Columbus eyes south side property for economic development - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Columbus eyes south side property for economic development

By Roslyn Giles

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) - Columbus City Council passed a resolution Tuesday morning to purchase 5.6 acres of land on Victory Drive, adjacent to the Old Baker High School. 

The property, which includes 658 feet of road frontage, has been on the market for over a year through local real estate agent and investor Michael Powell of Solid Source Realty.

Powell is also a partner in Alpine Apartment Project, LLC.  The company acquired the land consisting of a 68-unit complex called Woodside Apartments in 2008. "The city got a great deal. The city has competent and visionary leaders who saw what we saw when we purchased the property, "added Powell.

[Web Extra! City to acquire Victory Drive property]

The city purchased the land for $1,635,000 -- that's $50,000 less than the appraised value. The owners felt the real estate values would be much higher than they are, but the real estate market took a drastic turn for the worse after AAP closed on the deal three years ago.   "As realtors, we're trained to look at highest and best use and this property's highest and best use would be commercial."

The plan is to demolish the apartments in hopes of making the land more attractive for potential businesses and hotels.  The city will convey the property to the Development Authority.  The authority will market the property and sale it for the city. Proceeds from that sale will be reclaimed by the city.    

Funds from the 1999 SPLOST or Special Local Option Sales Tax will be used in the sale with AAP.  In the meantime, AAP will be responsible for relocating its tenants to other suitable housing. Powell says they'll be placed in other AAP properties.

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