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County Looking at Another Land Purchase in Oak Grove?

After the county agreed to buy about 6 acres in the community earlier this month, Commissioner Jeff Rader said he's also interested in 17 acres nearby.

Could Oak Grove soon see a second land purchase for a future park two weeks after ?

District 2 Commissioner Jeff Rader wants the county to review a 17-acre tract owned by Ed Nelms Jr. about a mile east off Lavista Road, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

Nelms is asking for $6 million for the land, below the $7.5 million price tag he said he was offering residential developers. The land–as well as the 6 acres the county purchased July 12–is part of the Mount Zion community, a black farming community that emerged after Emancipation.

Rader has said he's actively seeking to purchase land in his district because it's one of the most well-developed areas in the county, but it wasn't planned with an adequate amount of greenspace. After spending about $1.78 million on the Lavista land earlier this month, the county has about $5 million to spend in District 2 on land from the 2001 parks bond, the AJC reported.

Residents and some commissioners have criticized the Lavista purchase earlier this month. The seller, Rick Porter of Paulee Partners, initially asked the county to pay $1.96 million for the land. The county assessed the land at $393,000 for tax purposes. After debate and deferral, Porter lowered his price about $200,000, and the board of commissioners approved the purchase.

CORRECTION: The article initially said Jeff Rader represents District 1. He represents District 2. The error has been changed.

Kevin July 22, 2011 at 02:59 PM
Oops, I accidentally included an unrelated developed lot when I said 13 acres on the eastern side. The actual size is closer to 11 acres. The point remains though.
David S July 23, 2011 at 04:43 PM
Kevin: I couldn't agree more. The latest purchase of any of this land was in 2004, at $100k per acre, and that was for the one “usable,” non-land-locked tract. If, for the sake of argument, we assume that all of the 17 acres was worth that in 2004 (which I would dispute), the complete tract represents $1.7M. For this land to be worth $6M today, it would have to have increased in value roughly 20% per YEAR for the past seven years, which is utterly ridiculous. If Mr. Nelms offered this to a developer for $7.5M, I'd like to know how long it took the guy to stop laughing and start breathing on his own. I'm not convinced this property would even make a decent park. It has over 1000 feet of frontage along the railroad tracks. There's 1.5 acres across the tracks that is totally inaccessible. The AJC reported that 2 acres of the tract was once a land fill. Only one of the five tracts that make up this property has any access from the street and that is 100' along the cul-de-sac at the end of Nelms Ct. And as you pointed out, this would land-lock some poor soul who, apparently even now, drives through someone ease’s property to get to his house. I would say let's pass on this one and be a better steward of taxpayer money..
Tom Doolittle July 24, 2011 at 02:49 AM
Jonathan, you've done wonders learning this place in a short period of time--or as it is, so many separate places. Also,I can attest that the Commission boundaries are a pain, However, with the respect to Oak Grove, I believe that's District 2...or if Jeff Rader represents that, its District 2. Is that $5 million left in District 2 or District 1? I sure hope that IS $5 million for District 1 because I've got a $1.5 million 9-acre site with immense historical value for the county on Henderson Mill Road. Request on file with the county since the bond issue (12 years I believe).
Tom Doolittle July 24, 2011 at 02:56 AM
"historic" value--sorry.
Jonathan Cribbs July 24, 2011 at 07:30 AM
Nope, Tom. You were right. It's District 2. I was moving too fast that morning. You write something correctly for years, and then when you're not paying attention... Regardless, I've added the correction. Thanks for the note.

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