The City Council has purchased a small lot near the corner of North Marietta Parkway and Fairground Street to be used in the planned expansion of the Elizabeth Porter Recreation Center.
The council agreed to pay $54,000 to First Citizens Bank and Trust Co. on Wednesday for the property at 357 Allgood Road.
The land includes a 756-square-foot home built in 1950.
The property will go toward building a large community center that can be enjoyed by the entire city. The recreation center is one of the largest items on the 2009 parks bond project list, budgeted for $3.75 million, Councilman Johnny Sinclair said.
Sinclair said the property last sold in 2007 for $92,500 and was foreclosed on in March by the bank.
“It’s an important piece of property for us, and rather than having somebody think they could hold us hostage, we have a very motivated seller for whom we are thankful for giving us an easy transaction,” he said.
The council had a heated debate in June about whether to use eminent domain to acquire properties to complete the project, including a liquor store at 321 Allgood Road, called Hunter’s Package store. Sinclair said the outcome of that debate was moot when the owner of the package store expressed interest in selling to the city.
The recreation center, at 370 Montgomery St., sits on 2.7 acres of land. The city has already purchased 1.7 acres of adjacent properties, according to Rich Buss, the city’s parks director. The other targeted properties would add a total of 2.25 acres.
Sinclair, who decided not to run for reelection this fall, said he hopes to have all the property assembled for the new center by the end of the year so that construction can begin early next year.