Potential buyer surfaces for Morris Brown

Morris Brown College might have a buyer interested in parcels of its property.

Channel 2 Action News reported that Morris Brown College president Stanley Pritchett announced in bankruptcy court Friday that Pope & Land Enterprises, a local developer of One Atlanta Plaza and several other high profile projects, plans to buy part of the much-maligned historically black college.

The deal would have to be approved by U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barbara Ellis-Monro, and it could net the school between $12 and $13 million.

The judge’s decision could also have an impact on the future of Atlanta’s new billion dollar football stadium that is scheduled to open in 2017 on a site close to Morris Brown.

As part of the proposed deal, key parcels like the administration building would remain in the hands of the school. But Middleton Twin Towers dormitory, which Friendship Baptist Church has expressed an interest in, would be sold to the developer.

Friday, Morris Brown officials presented a court-mandated financial restructuring plan, which carefully details how the school plans to pay off $35 million in debt. The college filed for bankruptcy last August and is down to about 35 students.

In July, the school turned down a $10 million proposal from the city of Atlanta, which would have shrunk the school’s footprint, but gotten them out of debt. In turning it down, the school chased a more lucrative $20 million bid from FD LLC that would have kept most of the campus intact, while school officials worked on getting re-accredited.

But that deal – which would have included building hotels and restaurants — fell apart.