The city of Roswell has shelled out $19 million to buy a 160-acre forest and wetlands tract slated for a housing development. The purchase price equates to $118,750 per acre or $2.73 psf.

Located about 20 miles north of Downtown Atlanta, the property is near the Ga. 400 and Holcomb Bridge Road. Much of this North Fulton submarket is seeing intense commercial and residential development. Urged on by local residents, the Roswell City Council voted unanimously to buy the land as a natural city park.

The Wilmer family owned the land and planned to sell it to Pulte Corp. for a community of single-family homes and townhouses. In July 1999, the city rejected the development plan, stating it was not allowed by current zoning.

The issue went to court and still remained to be settled until the city voted to buy the land. Roswell is making the purchase from the Wilmer family and Pulte.

Last March, Roswell approved a $25 million bond issue for the purchase of green space. To come up with the $19 million, the city is using $13 million of the bond funds and $6 million from its budget surplus. The green space issue is high on Gov. Roy Barnes’ agenda.

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