In perhaps the most dramatic land acquisition in recent Georgia memory, it appears that Tyler Perry’s proposal to purchase and redevelop the old military base at Fort McPherson is finally moving forward. The property has been for sale since 2011. Perry submitted the proposal last June to buy it for $30 million and build professional film studios on the property.
Due to some pushback from various groups and environmental delays, the future of the property looked debatable at best, however, recent developments are making it possible for the sale to be finalized by the end of the month. The Atlanta City Council just voted 11-1 in support of Mayor Kasim Reed’s motion to provide Perry with the $13 million required to clean up the contaminated 22+ acres included in the 330 acre purchase. As part of the deal, at least 125 acres of the property will be returned to Atlanta – certainly a mutually beneficial agreement.
11-1 is an impressively agreeable vote from the City Council, but popular opinion is not quite so unanimous. Several groups have voiced discontent over the transaction. And still more are unhappy with the city’s allocation of the $13 million pledged to Perry’s project. Redevelopment always comes at a cost, both literally and figuratively. Some locals are also concerned about negative repercussions of future gentrification in the area.
There are certainly valid points to be made on either side of the argument. Returning the 125 acres to the city of Atlanta is only the beginning of the financial benefits the city will reap. This redevelopment will solidify the film industry’s foothold in the Atlanta economy and will surely exponentially increase the millions of investment dollars film is currently bringing into the city.
To learn more and get involved in the conversation, the next Community Engagement Subcommittee Meeting will be held next Tuesday, May 5, 2015 at 5:30 pm-7:30 pm at the offices of MILRA ( Fort McPherson) 1794 Walker Avenue, SW, Atlanta, GA 30310.