After settling a dispute with a downtown neighborhood association that could have scuttled the deal, the board of Invest Atlanta on Thursday approved a resolution to sell Underground Atlanta to a South Carolina-based developer.
WRS Real Estate Investments of Mount Pleasant, S.C., is buying the 12-acre downtown destination for $34.6 million and plans to bring residential and new retail to the property, including a grocery store.
The approval is a victory for Mayor Kasim Reed, who has been trying to cut a deal since first announcing he was putting Underground up for sale in late 2014. As negotiations dragged on, Reed, who also is chairman of the Invest Atlanta board, threatened to pull out of the deal in January.
That same month, the Atlanta Downtown Neighborhood Association sent the city a demand letter questioning the legality of aspects of the project, a possible prelude to a lawsuit. The group’s members and other downtown residents questioned plans to sell public streets intersecting the site to the developer, the need for 2,000 parking spaces that are part of the development strategy and the size of the proposed grocery store.
Reed said at the Thursday meeting that the association’s board had agreed to settle the dispute, though he did not provide details.
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