Exclusive: Is deal near for Underground Atlanta as deadline looms?

Underground Atlanta. Downtown Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

Underground Atlanta. Downtown Atlanta, Fulton County, Georgia. BOB ANDRES /BANDRES@AJC.COM

With an early January deadline to buy Underground Atlanta fast approaching, a South Carolina group that’s negotiated a purchase for two years says it will make the deal work.

WRS Real Estate Investments executive Kevin Rogers says his firm has its financing and equity in place to consummate the deal, and delays in making the purchase have stemmed from technical aspects of very complicated piece of real estate that stands over rail lines and is complicated by outdated surveys and ancient real estate documents.

Rogers said in an interview the hard work to close the transaction is nearly finished.

But The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned there are other groups waiting to make offers to the city to buy Underground if WRS is unable to close the deal in early January.

Two people with knowledge of the situation told the AJC those groups are not looking to break up the city’s current arrangement with WRS, but are monitoring the situation and the looming deadline.

One of the parties is a German development group, which includes former executives of Ponce City Market developer Jamestown, that is the driving force behind a series of about 20 downtown building purchases near Underground.

Whether WRS or another firm emerges as the developer of Underground, real estate experts say the area will be transformed the segment of the city’s central business district is seeing the most development interest in decades.

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