City officials said they recently received an offer on a portion of the city-owned Hickory Lake property, but instead proposed a counteroffer for the entire property.
“The City was not happy with the offer and is interested in selling the entire parcel,” City Administrator Eric Taylor said.
Ward 3 City Council Representative Teri Anulewicz said city officials received a letter of intent from a real estate broker expressing interest in a portion of the property for a company to be named later.
“I speak only for myself, but I am not probably going to be much more inclined to really only seriously entertain offers for the entire property,” she said. “The offer from the big box store that was named in the letter of intent was only for a portion of the property.”
City Council Woman Susan Wilkinson represents Ward 5 where Hickory Lake is located.
"I can say that the city is looking at marketing the property,” she said. “I have a responsibility to the city to maintain confidentiality about real estate negotiations that may or may not be in progress.”
The City of Smyrna purchased the 48-acre apartment complex in 2010 with a $15 million bond from the Downtown Development Authority. Of that money, $9.5 million was used to purchase the property and $4.1 million was used to demolish the structures. Hickory Lake is now being marketed as Smyrna Grove and its potential uses are advertised to include “corporate campus,’’ “mixed-use development,” “shopping center,’’ “medical/hospital,’’ “sportsplex,” “government,’’ or “education.”
Some have criticized the city for purchasing the property including formal mayoral candidate Alex Backry. He spoke about the issue at a .
“To me the city is the taxpayers,” he said. “We never had a referendum and for $9.5 million and to knock it down $13.5 million—I think deserved a referendum. We didn’t even have a town hall meeting on it. Just putting it into perspective the decision was not approved by the city, which is the taxpayers. It was by you and selected few.”