Developer targets huge Westside CSX rail yard up for grabs

CSX wants to sell the former Tilford Yard railroad property on the Westside of Atlanta. (Andy Peters / andy.peters@ajc.com)
CSX wants to sell the former Tilford Yard railroad property on the Westside of Atlanta. (Andy Peters / andy.peters@ajc.com)

Credit: Andy Peters

Credit: Andy Peters

A local real estate developer has under contract at least part of a 291-acre Westside rail yard, one of the biggest tracts of land in the city that is for sale.

TPA Group, based in Atlanta, has made an initial payment to acquire at least some of the CSX Tilford Yard property, according to people familiar with the deal. TPA has acquired and developed property for other big Atlanta-area projects, including the Takeda pharmaceutical manufacturing facility near Covington.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle, citing unnamed sources, reported earlier this week that a real estate company that it did not identify acquired the rail yard site for the tech giant Amazon.

TPA is the development company that has acquired the railroad property, according to industry sources and an email reviewed by The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

TPA and CSX did not respond to requests for comment. An Amazon spokeswoman declined to comment on specific plans and said in a statement, “we are constantly exploring new locations and weighing a variety of factors when deciding where to develop sites to best serve customers.”

A spokeswoman for Colliers International Group, which first marketed the Tilford Yard site on behalf of CSX in early 2019, declined to comment.

City councilman Dustin Hillis, who represents the area, said he is not he’s not familiar with the development plans.

The rail yard acquisition would be the latest land deal on the Westside, where commercial and residential developers have snapped up hundreds of acres in recent years.

The CSX Tilford Yard site is located about two miles north of the former Quarry Yards site where Microsoft plans to build a corporate campus. Tilford Yard crosses the Beltline walking trail at the intersection of Marietta Boulevard and West Marietta Street.

Seattle-based Amazon named Atlanta as a finalist in 2018 for its second U.S. headquarters, but ultimately chose Washington, D.C., for the project.

CSX closed Tilford Yard in 2017. The site, which CSX used to manage intermodal containers that can be shipped by train or truck, had been in operation since the 1950s.

An earlier version of this article incorrectly paraphrased a comment from city councilman Dustin Hillis.

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