Records show state, church were more than $7 million apart

10:29 PM, Aug 1, 2013   |    comments
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ATLANTA -- Records released under the Georgia Open Records Act reveal that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority made its opening offer of more than $4.8 million to Mt. Vernon Baptist Church (MVBC) on July 1, just one month prior to a self-imposed deadline.

RELATED| Officials "abandoning efforts" to acquire Mt. Vernon Baptist

The church countered that the property was worth more than $13 million. The church sits on the preferred site for the new NFL stadium project, south of the Georgia Dome.

Here's a timeline of the negotiations, according to documents released by the GWCCA.

June 21 - State receives initial appraisal of Mt. Vernon at $4.9 million. conducted by Smith Real Estate Services of Atlanta.

June 24 - State receives appraisal of $4,755,000 for Mt. Vernon. The appraisal is conducted by Integra Realty Resources of Atlanta.

July 1 - State offers MVBC $4,827,500 for property, a midway value between the two appraisals.

July 2 - MVBC attorney Bill Montgomery writes Denise Whiting-Pack of the Georgia Attorney General's office, complaining that the appraisals are flawed and improperly measured the property's dimensions.

I have reviewed your email and the attached Option with the $4,827,500 Purchase Price included. I have forwarded this material to the Church leadership and they have also reviewed same.

To say that this proposal is extremely disappointing to my client is a gross understatement. The Church views the offered amount as insulting. The Authority should pursue the North Site unless it is prepared to offer the Church SUBSTANTIAL more money for its property.

Consequently, unless the Authority is prepared to obtain from private sources sufficient supplemental funds to pay a realistic price for the Church property, I believe further negotiations would not be fruitful.

July 11- MVBC sends the state a counter-offer by courier. In it, the church says its property is worth $13,240,919. The church bases the value, in part, on sales of other urban commercial property in Atlanta, including Dante's Down the Hatch in Buckhead.

July 26 - Revised state appraisal values property at $4,940,000

July 30 - State receives new appraisal of $6.2 million from Smith Real Estate Services of Atlanta.

July 30 - state offers MVBC $6.2 million, its "best and final offer."

July 30 - MVBC "unanimously" rejects offer of $6.2 million

August 1 -- Attorney General's office sends the following to MVBC

(I)n your recent email, you advised that MVBC has unanimously rejected the Authority's adjusted offer of SIX MILLION TWO HUNDRED THOUSAND DOLLARS AND OO/CENTS ($6,200,000.00) Which was based on the highest appraised value received by the Authority. Therefore, the Authority hereby advises you that it is officially terminating negotiations and is abandoning its efforts to acquire the MVBC Property.

Again, thank you for your consideration and the Authority looks forward to continuing the amicable relationship that the Authority has had in the past With the MVBC. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact me.

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