The Fort McPherson LRA on Friday approved the sale of about 330 acres of the 475-acre post to filmmaker Tyler Perry, before the authority closed on its agreement with the Army to acquire the post located on the southwest edge of Atlanta.
The McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority now owns 145 acres at the installation and will begin crafting a redevelopment plan for the property. The authority’s plans include walkable, mixed-use development connected to two MARTA stations, a vibrant historic village, mixed-use retail development supporting Perry’s film studios, office or medical office space, and market rate multifamily developments, according to a press release.
Perry is purchasing the property for $30 million to build up to 16 sound stages for a movie and television production complex. The LRA is paying the Army $26 million to acquire the post through an economic development conveyance.
“More than three years since the closing of Fort McPherson, we have today taken a great step forward for the former post and for the surrounding community,” LRA Board Chairman Felker Ward said. “We look forward now to significant investment by hometown entertainment entrepreneur Tyler Perry, and we will move forward with further planning for the remaining 145 acres of the site,” Ward said.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, who spearheaded the deal with Perry, also looked ahead to the economic potential of the site.
“The closing of this deal represents the start of a new period of job creation, business expansion and community development in South Atlanta,” Reed said. “I am looking forward to the day when Fort McPherson is a catalyst for change in one of our most important neighborhoods.”
Some local residents and lawmakers have opposed the deal since the city of Atlanta announced it a year ago. Critics point to the reuse plan crafted by the community — which called for a bioscience campus and a mix of housing and retail — as a superior alternative because it would have more successfully integrated the former post into the surrounding neighborhood.
State Sen. Vincent Fort questioned the legality of the agreement since Perry is paying far less than what the land is worth, reported the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
“The community is being short-changed in this process,” he said.