That deal, however, was opposed by Bottoms, who in late August asked the board to delay the closing and consider a competing offer from filmmaker Tyler Perry. Perry bought most of Fort McPherson in 2015 and last weekend celebrated the official grand opening of his studio complex.
“The City has a general duty to its taxpayers to enforce the City’s contractual rights and to collect all amounts due thereunder,” the demand letter said. “Please understand that this letter has been prepared and sent for the sole purpose of encouraging settlement discussions.”
On Monday the Mayor’s office issued a statement on the collection note saying, “The City supports a smart, forward-thinking development of the remaining land at Fort Mac, however we have an obligation to taxpayers to enforce the reimbursement of loaned funds per the existing contractual agreement.”
Actor, director and producer Tyler Perry talks to a large crowd gathered for the Candle In The Dark Gala, celebrating the 150th anniversary of Morehouse College in Atlanta on February 18, 2017. STEVE SCHAEFER / SPECIAL TO THE AJC
The city’s demand letter could put the authority in a financial bind. Fort Mac LRA is negotiating a new development agreement with master developers Stephen Macauley and David Moody. But if the two sides don’t come to an agreement, the LRA also could have to buyout the partners and and reopen its search for a developer.
Macauley was named master developer for the site in 2017. He’s proposed about 2,500 residences, retail, offices and a performing arts center on the remaining Fort Mac LRA land. But talks soured earlier this year as the Fort Mac LRA board failed to meet for months.
Relations have improved of late and a pivotal vote whether to move forward could come Oct. 17.
“LRA staff is reviewing our records and will respond as soon as possible to the City’s demand letter,” the agency said in a statement.