22 Aug 2014
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Smyrna Mayor Hints at Selling Hickory Lake Property in 2014

More than three years after it purchased the crime-riddled apartment complex, the City is still looking to sell the 47.5-acre site that it cost $16 million to buy and tear down the buildings.

Smyrna Mayor Hints at Selling Hickory Lake Property in 2014
It was in December 2010 when the City of Smyrna completed its purchase of a four-decade old and crime-riddled apartment complex near the intersection of Windy Hill Road and South Cobb Drive.

More than three years later, the City is still looking to sell the 47.5-acre site that cost it $16 million to buy and tear down.

But according to a report over the weekend in The Marietta Daily Journal, the former Hickory Lake Apartments site could be sold in 2014 to the Vinings-based real estate acquisition firm, Southeast Capital Companies, which according to its website, specializes in the development of multi-family, single-family, and mixed-use projects.

The Smyrna Downtown Area Development Corporation issued a bond to purchase the 92-building complex on Old Concord Road and has since paid off $3.4 million, including an $898,631 payment at the beginning of this month.

The next payment is due in August, as if the City maintains its twice-yearly payment schedule through 2035, it would spend approximately $32 million, including principal and interest, to rid itself of the problematic property that was a continual source of police and drug activity.

But now Smyrna Mayor Max Bacon tells the MDJ the city is “on track” to sell the property for $13 million, which is $4.5 million less than what it was listed for in late 2011 when the City began seeking a buyer for the renamed, Smyrna Grove

If it is sold for that price, the Atlanta brokerage firm NAI Brannen Goddard that is marketing the property would receive a 5 percent commission totaling about $650,000. So, for now, that’s roughly a $3.65 million loss, which critics say is much too much as Hickory Lake remains a risky venture using taxpayer money.

Bacon and proponents of the purchasing of Hickory Lake, however, contend it was the right thing to do for the long-term betterment of the northern portion of Smyrna and to help shape Smyrna’s destiny. 

Three-plus years after the City purchased the Hickory Lake property, where do you stand on the decision? Let us know in the comment section below.

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