Underground Atlanta, Now Atlanta’s. Again.

March 17, 2014 19:54 pm

by Charlie · 15 comments

The Atlanta City Council has agreed to buy out the lease of Underground Atlanta for $8.8 Million.  The….what do we call it now….subterranean mall and tourist trap had been leased for 99 years to developers who have apparently gotten tired of the Casino they have long been expecting.  Thus, look at this as Atlanta buying it’s development rights back.  Atlanta Intown has the details:

The Atlanta City Council unanimously voted during Monday’s meeting to spend $8.8 million  to buy out the remaining part of an 88-year lease for Underground Atlanta. The city has been paying $8 million a year to keep the Downtown attraction running, but only receiving $100,000 a year in rent from lease-holder Underground Festival/CV Underground.

Councilman Ivory Lee Young said in reading the motion that 72 years was left on the last lease agreement, signed in 1999, and that all the council members had signed on to the legislation granting Mayor Kasim Reed to enter into the agreement to buy out the lease.

What will happen with the redevelopment of Underground Atlanta remains to be seen. The city could sell the property to a private developer or it could enter into an agreement with another entity.

Feel free to tell us in the comments section what is the “highest and best” use for Underground Atlanta.

greencracker March 17, 2014 at 8:26 pm

Hacker space!!

saltycracker March 17, 2014 at 9:20 pm

Zone it, rent it for all those things we prefer off Peachtree, lobbyists offices, medical marijuana stores, massage parlors, escort services, city council staff, retail stores for confiscated items, the choices and potential revenues are big……

Mike Hassinger March 17, 2014 at 11:02 pm

I like all those ideas, salty, but you left out gun range.

Raleigh March 18, 2014 at 8:15 am

Add video poker parlors to the list and it could be just like it was in the 70′s. They could build new sports stadiums every 5 years with the revenue they could generate….. Great Idea.

Will Durant March 17, 2014 at 11:24 pm

Just fill it in with tax dollars. If they use singles it will be even cheaper than the previous efforts.

John Walraven March 19, 2014 at 8:46 am

+1

Dave Bearse March 18, 2014 at 12:26 am

From the WSB clip…..

…..so we tracked him [Broun] down at a House Science Committee that he serves on, but he was a no show.

Now that’s a double entendre for you.

Rambler14 March 18, 2014 at 7:18 am

Casino.

Convert it into an actual destination to compete with Biloxi, Cherokee and Tampa.

Will Durant March 18, 2014 at 12:13 pm

Trigger is long dead and stuffed and has even been re-stuffed a couple of times. Feel free to whack some more but at least pony up for the taxidermist. You just ain’t going to get rural legislators to allow more sinnin’ in Atlanta unless they can get a significant piece of the action.

Rambler14 March 18, 2014 at 12:49 pm

Okay.

Casino in Underground Atlanta
and we’ll build a Southern Go Fish in Cordele or Tifton.

Sounds fair!

View from Brookhaven March 18, 2014 at 9:44 am

Nuke it. Charge $5 for people to come marvel at Atlanta’s Great Hole.

George Chidi March 18, 2014 at 9:48 am

Hacker space ain’t bad.

gcp March 18, 2014 at 12:09 pm

Perhaps Mayor Reed could get another 40 or 50 million in taxpayer money to run his trolley folly over to Underground.

DavidTC March 18, 2014 at 1:23 pm

The Atlanta City Council unanimously voted during Monday’s meeting to spend $8.8 million to buy out the remaining part of an 88-year lease for Underground Atlanta. The city has been paying $8 million a year to keep the Downtown attraction running, but only receiving $100,000 a year in rent from lease-holder Underground Festival/CV Underground.

So let me get this straight. They were paying the city $100,000 a year. The city was, meanwhile, paying them $8,000,000 dollars a year.

That makes perfect sense. It’s like when you pay $500 a month in rent, and the landlord is so thankful he finally rented the place that he pays you $40,000 back each month. That’s how it works, right?

You know, I have to ask if the city could have just saved money and created more jobs by keeping Underground Atlanta and just paying 400 people to stand around and do nothing in it. Or operate valet parking for the city or hand out pamphlets or something. Or just run a damn tourist attraction themselves.

You think I’m kidding about that. I’m not. We keep having public/private partnerships where the private side ends up getting bailed out. Just STOP IT. If there is something that can make money but needs government help getting off the ground…*start it as the government*. Run it as the government. Wait until it starts making money, *then* sell stock in it, and, tada, the government recoops its money, and it’s now privately owned.

That’s how we *used* to do things, and in fact there are a bunch of companies out there that started out as government entities. I would argue that this actually is stupid, there’s no reason for the government not to keep money-making entities, but it at least wasn’t *criminally* stupid.

But, no, the corporations have bought the government, at all levels, and they want the government to pay them to run places…if the places make money, the corporations make money, but if they fail, the corporation still get paid to run them, and if they fail entirely, the government will make sure they get all their money back. This is so incredibly corrupt that government officials should be impeached for it.

Oh, I especially like the fact the government decided to buy out the lease. Uh, why?

What the government should have done is stop funding the place, and watch it implode. Then, in bankruptcy, they could buy back the lease….I mean, presumably no one *else* wants it. And if someone else *does* want it, hell, they can have it. I think we’ve amply demonstrated that Underground Atlanta is not actually a functional piece of property. Best case scenario it’s a goofily-located mall, and we should probably stop trying to pin hopes and dreams on it.

Jon Lester March 19, 2014 at 9:34 am

How about a “Sharky’s Machine” theme park?

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