ATLANTA -- The Atlanta City Council has approved a plan to cede two of its central Downtown roads to the new developer of the old Underground Atlanta property. The Council voted to pass the ordinance 10 votes to four.
The move, called "abandonment," privatizes the intersection of Pryor and Alabama Streets adjacent to Underground Atlanta, and puts them under control of a private company.
Now that the deal has passed, those streets will be sold to a South Carolina-based developer named WRS who is re-developing Underground Atlanta. Plans for what the area will become are still unclear.
11Alive’s Matt Pearl was at City Hall Monday as the issue, which doesn’t have much precedent, was discussed. During the meeting, a number of speakers highlighted the potential issues if WRS takes control of what now belong to the city.
The plan also had some residents furious. According to them, it's a dangerous precedent to set to give private companies major control over parts of Downtown Atlanta.
Still, Mayor Reed championed the concept. He spoke about the plan himself at an event earlier in the day.
"If we don't approve it, we won't move forward with the transaction," Reed said. "It's an essential element in closing the Underground Atlanta transaction. So those folks who vote against a simple road abandonment, which is very common in large real estate transactions of this kind will be voting to stay status quo."
The plan ultimately passed, clearing the next hurdle for redevelopment for the property.