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Monday, August 11, 2014

Atlanta's Fort McPherson wanted by movie powerhouse for studio.

Fort McPhersonThere was a big splashy announcement about a local movie mogul buying a large chunk of our  neighbor, Fort McPherson. Headlines about lawsuits and charges of an inside job appeared weeks later.

To keep you up to speed, here are the developments:

The AJC reported on June 18:
The board of the civilian authority tasked with redeveloping Fort McPherson voted on Wednesday to begin formal negotiations to sell a portion of the former Army post to filmmaker Tyler Perry.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported Wednesday afternoon that Perry has held talks with the city for months about acquiring land at the nearly 500-acre site for a possible movie and television production complex.

Following a vote by the McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority, or MILRA, Wednesday, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city will now begin “robust” conversations with the filmmaker.

... An individual with knowledge of the situation told the AJC the purchase price of the land could be $30 million to $35 million.

The Saporta Report on July 14 published a look at the area with an eye on economic development.  The headline was "Fort McPherson area rich in human rights history, poor in redevelopment."
The fort and its surroundings are not thriving; federal law requires the site to house the homeless; the fort has served as a stockade.

Meanwhile, as Atlanta looks to develop a niche in historic tourism, there appears to be great potential in the Campbellton Road corridor that flanks the fort. The story of human rights in this area involves the region’s earliest white settlers and treaties with Creek Indians.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle on July 17 published news about a lawsuit
An Atlanta entertainment company planning a movie studio and entertainment area at Fort McPherson filed a federal lawsuit Thursday challenging Tyler Perry’s proposal for a similar project.

Lawyers for Ubiquitous Entertainment Studios LLC (UES) claim the firm wasn’t given a fair chance to redevelop the site halfway between Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and downtown Atlanta.

UES, working with developer Egbert Perry, began meeting in late 2011 with representatives of the authority in charge of redeveloping the 488-acre site closed by the Pentagon as part of the last round of federal base closings.


Perry plans to purchase 363 acres at the site for $33 million.

“MILRA has ... unilaterally selected a sole source developer ... to become the acquirer of all of the Fort McPherson property,” the lawsuit states. “[The authority], its officials, agents and representatives have denied UES a fair opportunity to compete in favor of this sole source award and have rebuffed UES’s efforts to remediate their arbitrary and capricious government conduct.”