Developer and Atlanta Housing complete $26 million deal to end dispute

February 3, 2022 Atlanta - Integral Group CEO Egbert Perry speaking during a press as Mayor Andre Dickens announced the settlement.



February 3, 2022 Atlanta - Integral Group CEO Egbert Perry speaking during a press as Mayor Andre Dickens announced the settlement.

A developer said this week that it has finalized a $26 million deal, freeing up land stuck in limbo because of a years-long legal dispute with the city of Atlanta’s housing authority.

Officials with The Integral Group said it has closed real estate transactions stemming from a settlement agreement first announced in February 2022. The agreement was reached after then-incoming Mayor Andre Dickens urged the parties to negotiate and avoid a drawn-out court trial.

The Integral Group will now move forward with its partners to revive plans for four developments combining market-rate, workforce and affordable housing units, retail and commercial space. The projects are planned on gentrifying land of four former public housing projects — Carver, Capitol, Grady, and Harris Homes.

According to Integral Group, the settlement was approved by Atlanta Housing and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and resolves a dispute over 88 acres that was part of a 220-acre project.

“This settlement agreement will finally allow the development of these important properties,” Atlanta Housing president and CEO Terri Lee said in an emailed statement. “In partnership with The Integral Group, we will be able to produce safe, quality and affordable homes to many future residents.”

Integral Group officials said that four private partnerships, including Urban Realty Partners and H.J. Russell & Co., involved in the land deal agreed to give up development rights to 34 of the acres. It said Atlanta Housing would retain title to that land while the private partnerships would have title to the remaining 54 acres.

The private partnerships paid Atlanta Housing $26 million, not including “all credits and settlement-related costs,” the developer said in a statement. It says it now intends to move forward with the planning and design phases of the developments.

Integral Group’s president of real estate, Vicki Lundy Wilbon, noted the project was dormant since 2016 when the private partnerships announced they planned to commence with the next phase of development. That was because the housing authority under Mayor Kasim Reed’s administration objected to a deal the developer had struck with former Atlanta Housing CEO Renee L. Glover.

That led to a very public feud between Reed and Integral founder and chairman Egbert L.J. Perry, with claims and counterclaims.

In 2017, the city’s housing authority went to Fulton Superior Court to block Integral’s plans because it claimed not enough land was being used for affordable housing and it was not getting a fair price.

The wrangle ultimately meant that the project was tied up in knots for years.

“I’m happy to bring this chapter to a successful close,” Wilbon said in a statement. “Our longstanding partnerships with Atlanta Housing are rooted in more than this transaction. Our ongoing collaboration represents a mutual dedication to forging a promising future for Atlanta.”