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MARIETTA, GA-In a creative move to jump-start the redevelopment of a blighted eight-acre area near its historic Marietta Square, elected officials in this Atlanta suburb are selling the land to Cumming-based Hedgewood Homes for $1.2 million, or $3.8 million less than the city paid for the 27-property assemblage. The deal is scheduled to close Oct. 1.

City staffers confirm for GlobeSt.com the city previously agreed to pay local developer Marty Littleton, who assembled the land, $5 million or $625,000 per acre ($14.34 per sf). Hedgewood is getting the site for $150,000 per acre or $3.44 per sf.

The city expects to recoup its money from higher property taxes once the planned $22-million condominium redevelopment is up and running, according to city staffers. The property within the low-income, high-crime block of South Avenue and Haley, Manget and Frasier streets currently generates about $25,000 in annual property taxes on a combined taxable land value of $3.2 million. The redeveloped site is projected to give the city $194,000 in annual taxes on a projected market value of the built-out properties of about $22 million.

Hedgewood plans to build 89 condo homes, sized from 1,500 sf to 2,500 sf, with a projected price range of $200,000 to $320,000 per home. The South Avenue project is one of three major redevelopment venture the city is undertaking near Marietta Square. The others are abandoned public housing residences formerly called Johnny Walker Homes and Clay Homes, as GlobeSt.com previously reported.

Hedgewood is also bidding for those jobs. The developer has completed comparable projects in nearby Woodstock, Lawrenceville and Cumming.

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