Underground Atlanta talks continue despite missed sale deadline

Almost a month after Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed set a deadline to seal a deal for Underground Atlanta, the downtown property’s fate is still up in the air.

South Carolina-based WRS Real Estate has been working with the city to purchase the Atlanta attraction, but complicated transactions on some of the parcels have held up movement on the deal, the city and WRS officials say.

When asked for a timetable for when the process might be completed, Kevin Rogers, a development officer for South Carolina-based WRS Real Estate, declined to name a specific date.

“All I can say is as soon as possible,” he said. “That’s the goal for us and the city.”

Negotiations between WRS and the city have been ongoing since WRS was named in December 2014 as the intended buyer for Underground. At one point, WRS had made plans to begin work in 2016.

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But complicated easements for MARTA and the nearby railroad companies, outdated real estate records and difficulties purchasing some parcels have held up an agreement.

A frustrated Reed had earlier in January set the end of that month as a deadline for WRS to make a deal.

Reed reversed course on Jan. 31, saying he would give the company more time because they were working hard to get a deal done.

A spokeswoman in Mayor Kasim Reed’s office on Friday said there was “no update yet” on talks to sell the property.

“Right now everybody is working as close to the deadline as possible,” Reed said at the recent groundbreaking of a southwest Atlanta park honoring pioneering black doctors in the city.

“I shouldn’t be unreasonable solely because I said the 31st,” he said.

The city is trying to sell Underground for about $34.5 million and Reed has said there are other interested buyers.

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