ATLANTA-Northeast Atlanta Beltline Group, headed by Gwinnett County developer Wayne Mason, has filed conceptual plans with the city for a 73-acre mixed-use project that would comprise 1.1 million sf of residential made up of 757 multifamily units, 20,000 sf of retail and 834 parking spaces.

The development site is at North Avenue near City Hall East in northeast Atlanta along the proposed 22-mile, $2.5-billion Beltline redevelopment. Mason’s group filed rezoning applications in June 2005. He later offered to donate 47 of his 73 acres to the Beltline project if the city would approve the rezoning. The city is still studying the offer, city hall sources in a position to know tell

Meanwhile, Mason has retained former Gov. Roy Barnes, a lawyer, to represent Northeast Atlanta Beltline Group in near-future dealings with the city, the company has confirmed. The proposed 22-mile Beltline redevelopment corridor is projected to generate $25 billion in housing and the formation of new companies over 25 years, according to a private study Mason’s firm commissioned in October 2005.

Northeast Atlanta Beltline Group bought the 73-acre tract in December 2004 from Norfolk Southern Corp. for an estimated $25 million or $342,466 per acre ($7.86 per sf), as previously reported. Mason has told city council members the 47 acres he is offering to donate has an estimated market value of $2 million per acre or $45.91 per sf for a total $94 million.

The Trust for Public Land paid individual local landowners a total $4.4 million, or $977,777 per acre ($22.45 per sf), earlier this year for 4.5 acres of Beltline dirt off North Avenue near the City Hall East redevelopment project.

Acknowledging that land prices are escalating along the planned Beltline project, the city council in March approved spending up to $245,000 per acre for various Fulton County parcels along the Beltline that would be developed as a public park. City hall sources in a position to know tell Fulton County’s tax appraisal department valued the same land in 2004 at $79,900 per acre.

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