Marietta buys first Franklin Road complex after bond passes
by Nikki Wiley
December 02, 2013 12:00 AM | 1021 views | 0 0 comments | 1 1 recommendations | email to a friend | print
MARIETTA - Marietta City Council last month approved to spend $12 million to buy an apartment complex on Franklin Road, the first purchase since voters passed a $68 million redevelopment bond on Nov. 5.

The $12 million is for the purchase of Flagstone Village Apartments, 849 Franklin Road, from Atlanta-based TriTex Real Estate Advisors Inc. Closing is expected before Dec. 19.

Council voted 6-1, with Councilman Anthony Coleman opposing, on Thursday during a special voting meeting after discussing the purchase in a closed session.

The city has another apartment property, Woodlands Park on Franklin Road, under contract but has not yet closed on the sale.

In late September, the council put the 386-unit Woodlands Park complex under contract for $7.9 million. Closing on that sale is expected before the end of the year.

Though neither sale is official yet, the city is gearing up for what to do when it takes ownership of the aging apartment complexes, most of them built in the mid to late 1970s.

Before approving the purchase of Flagstone, council previously voted to pay the Marietta Housing Authority for maintaining apartment complexes after the city buys them.

The authority will manage the apartments after the city purchases them and before the are razed.

The city will pay the authority $4,000 per month or 10 percent of the authority's expenses, whichever is higher for each complex it manages. Expenses will go down as the occupancy of the apartments falls, said Ray BuDay, director of the Housing Authority.

"We're winding them down but you still have to manage them," BuDay said. "You still have to collect the rent and fix things."

The agreement comes after Marietta voters approved raising their property taxes by up to 2 mills so the city could issue a $68 million general obligation bond, the proceeds of which will be used to purchase and raze apartments on Franklin Road and install new sidewalks along Whitlock Avenue.

BuDay said the authority will make sure the apartments remain a safe place to live but may forego some repairs.

"They have a right to live there if they choose and while they're there if their refrigerator breaks, we're going to fix it. " BuDay said. "If they get a minor hole in the wall, we might not fix that. We're going to tear it down."

A similar agreement was formed after the city purchased Preston Chase apartments in 2010. That was a smaller complex with fewer residents, but BuDay said the Housing Authority is ready to take on the project.

"There's a level of confidence that comes from 'we have done this with Preston Chase,'" BuDay said. "We dealt with the same population and the same circumstances."

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