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Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Deal wants to spend $28 million to purchase, renovate Fort McPherson buildings

U.S. Army Reserve Command Building at Fort McPherson
  • Fort McPherson Redevelopment Authority
  • U.S. Army Reserve Command Building at Fort McPherson

Last week we noted that Gov. Nathan Deal's State of the State address didn't include any mention of Fort McPherson, the former military base in southwest Atlanta that the governor wants to see transformed into a mixed-use development anchored by a bioscience research facility. Well, it looks like Deal hasn't overlooked the 488-acre property.

Buried in the governor's proposed budget released last Thursday (and which lawmakers are chewing over this week), Deal wants to spend more than $24 million in public funds to purchase the former U.S. Forces Command building, or FORSCOM, a high-tech office facility located at Fort McPherson. The 371,000-square-foot building has been eyed as the home of the state's planned Georgia Institute for Global Health. He's also earmarked $4 million to retrofit the former U.S. Reserves Command building nearby (and pictured above) for "state use."

We've reached out to the governor's office for more specifics and will update when we hear word. Our hunch: the state wants to spark interest in the development — and keep it somewhat active to ward off copper thieves and vandals — by eventually moving state workers from existing private leases or subpar buildings and on to the campus. Or maybe state officials think it's best to show the military, which still owns and maintains the property, they're serious about the proposal and scoop up the properties.

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