Assistant County Manager Sammy Rich said ownership of the properties will give the city more control of the future of its downtown district, which is shifting to make the Oostanaula a focal point.
As we move forward with the town green, the parking deck and the pedestrian bridge, it certainly lends more interest to the other side of the river, Rich said. These properties will be very strategic to what happens there.
The tracts, just less than 2 acres, currently house Dempsey Auction Co., Mitchell Glass Co. and Just Sports & Tennis.
The purchase gives the city control of a combined 4.2 acres with river frontage in the district.
West Third Street is a designated Tax Allocation District, so the city could offer special financing options for projects that officials believe will help revitalize the area.
Click here to view the conceptual plan for redevelopment of the district.
Click here for a previous story with background on the land buys.