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ATLANTA-According to a published report, local developer Bill Swearingen thinks he has come up with a solution on how to save his historic-registered Peters House and most of its 3.4-acre Midtown site without damaging the integrity of the 1883 property.

Swearingen has contracted to sell two-thirds of the site and the building to the Trust for Public land and the Georgia Trust. The groups need to come up with $4.5 million by year end to buy the property and restore the house and grounds. Swearingen operates the Mansion restaurant at the site.

He plans to develop a maximum 164 condominiums on the remaining portion of the property on North Avenue, between Piedmont Road and Myrtle Street. The project has cleared all local government hurdles, according to the report. Tim Holdroyd of City Realty brokered the deal with the Trusts.

The Trust for Public Land plans to convert the green space in front of the building to a two-acre public park, demolish the additions built in 1976 and restore the 6,700-sf structure to its original architectural concept. The Atlanta Preservation Center last week listed the property at the top of its most endangered buildings list.

Swearingen bought the property in 1976 for an undisclosed price. The Mansion sits across the street from his other restaurant, the Abbey.

In the 1870s, Richard Peters and his family owned 400 acres from North Avenue to Eighth Street, and from Argonne on the east to what is now the Georgia Tech campus on the west, according to local history circles. Peters and Henry W. Grady, the late editor of the Atlanta Constitution, are credited with helping the state establish Georgia Tech on land Peters donated and also sold to the state.

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