EAST POINT, Ga. - The City of East Point says they have now signed the contract for a historic $150 million redevelopment of their downtown.
"We've been trying to get this done for 20 years. And today we signed the contract," said East Point City Councilman Joshua Butler IV.
He says this project is meant to breathe new life into the city’s core.
"This is the chapter in the book where we can really transform East Point. This is the first major development of its kind in our downtown in a generation," Butler said.
"Mynd Match Development Group is committing $150 million to the project.
Which will turn the 9-acre stretch of land between East Point Street and Main Street, known as the Commons, from a mostly empty lot with some boarded up buildings into tens of thousands of square feet of shops, restaurants, and apartments.
"Forty-plus thousand square feet of space in terms of a health care center, a grocery store, a complementing restaurant and retail and then floors two through five are comprised of apartments," said President of Mynd Match Development Group Excell Lewis III.
Butler says these additions will help solve some of the city’s most pressing problems.
"Right now, we live in a food desert, we live in a health care desert, our hospital just closed…not only are we going to get the much-needed grocery store, we're also investing in health care because Grady has decided that they are going to be a part of this new development," Butler said.
And the project will create hundreds of jobs.
"There is going to be about 150 jobs immediately. But over the course of the development, we're talking about 1,500 jobs," Lewis said.
(Courtesy of Mynd Match Development Group )
Which includes many temporary construction jobs.
Butler says it’s all being done without a dime of taxpayer money.
But how long will it take to build?
Lewis says best case scenario will be 3-½ years, while the worst case could be up to 5-½ years.
But he says his company and the City have agreed upon milestones for the project to hold them accountable.
"In the purchase and sale agreement, coupled with the development agreement, we adhere to milestones that our attorneys went back and forth on. Those include everything from groundbreaking in the development agreement...all the way to LDP, schematic design, design, development, etc., to make sure that the construction goes along in a nice manner. So, we have some hard dates that we need to meet, and we have the team that's going to do it," Lewis said.
The city plans to hold a groundbreaking ceremony on Dec. 29.