Townley Family Partnership is paying $11.4 million for the land that's across from North Oconee High School on Ga. Hwy. 3, and the partnership will then allow the school to use parts of it rent free until 2016 as scientists wrap up their work. It's currently used by UGA's Department of Crop and Soil Sciences for crop research with 350 acres in cultivation plus seven ponds and various buildings and barns.
The price met the threshold set by the average of three independent appraisals. The proceeds will go toward buying new land for crop research.
The sale won't close until the school finds the new acreage, although Townley will get immediate access to nearly 50 acres.
Tony Townley, one of the founders of the Zaxby's fast-food chain and its chief financial officer, controls the partnership which put in the winning offer when the university put the property out for bids last year. He and other family members own hundreds of acres in nearby land.