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Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Critics question Beltline officials about land deal

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Consider, for instance, recent negotiations to purchase the northeast quadrant of the Beltline, a 22-mile loop of transit and trails that will one day circle the city.

That deal – and the history of the controversial plot of land – has resulted in the city parting ways with two developers and paying millions of dollars that critics say was squandered.

Mike Dobbins, a Georgia Tech professor and Atlanta's former planning commissioner, says the city rushed to pay Gwinnett County developer Wayne Mason and his son Keith $65 million for land that could have been had for much, much less.

"Buying out Mason was a flawed proposition," Dobbins says. "I mean, name me anyone who wouldn't love to make a 300 percent profit in three years on a $25 million investment. It's crazy."

Says Keith Mason: "I'm pleased with the outcome."

Read the rest of this story.

(Photo by Jim Stawniak)

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