Atlanta to lease back historic Bobby Jones clubhouse

The Atlanta City Council has amended its controversial agreement to swap the Bobby Jones Golf Course with the state of Georgia to authorize the city leasing back the historic clubhouse as well as the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.

The city would lease the clubhouse from the state for $1 a year for 30 years, and the tennis center for $1 a year for 50 years. The state would have an option to terminate the clubhouse lease after 20 years. Proceeds from the community’s use of the clubhouse would be split by Atlanta and the state.

The city would have the right to make capital improvements “to preserve, restore and enhance the clubhouse, including the possible addition of a swimming pool,” according to the ordinance, passed by the Council on Monday, amending the land swap deal.

Plans to convert the Buckhead golf course from an 18-hole to a reversible 9-hole course also call for the hard-surfaced tennis courts to be moved. The ordinance requires the state to replace the courts with at least 10 new ones “of like quality.”

The Council in June approved a property swap in which the city would transfer to the state Bobby Jones, parts of Atlanta Memorial Park and the land beneath the former World of Coca-Cola; in return, the state would give the city property near Underground Atlanta, including a parking deck needed for a proposed overhaul of the downtown mall.

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