Atlanta will lease back the historic clubhouse after it transfers ownership of Bobby Jones Golf Course to the state. CONTRIBUTED

What does Bobby Jones Golf Course have to do with Atlanta Underground?

A deal to sell Underground Atlanta to a developer has been held in limbo by a complicated land swap between the city of Atlanta and the state of Georgia. And a group dedicated to preserving Bobby Jones Golf Course, miles away in Buckhead, is afraid the public course along Peachtree Battle Creek could be part of the high-stakes trade.

Residents and others around the golf course want answers about whether the revered facility is involved in negotiations, but city and state officials aren’t talking.

Tony Smith, president of Friends of Bobby Jones Golf Course, said he pieced together details about the potential land swap in recent weeks, and said it appears to involve state-owned parking facilities near Underground Atlanta ultimately going to Underground’s developer in exchange for the city-owned golf course.

A parking deck and nearby lot are critical to the redevelopment of the troubled downtown multi-tiered mall, people familiar with the matter have previously told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. The former World of Coca-Cola building downtown is also said to somehow be part of the talks.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed and the city brokered a deal in late 2014 to sell the downtown mall to South Carolina developer WRS Inc., which plans to build a live-work-play community with apartments and a grocery store.

The move would take a money-losing property off the city’s books and free up some cash. The sale has not yet closed, however, because of a hang up over parking.

To hear what Reed and state officials are saying about the complicated real estate transaction and what it means for the Buckhead golf course, visit

Update: Possible land swap involving Bobby Jones golf course 

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