City Government The present clubhouse at the Bobby Jones Golf Course, from which American Golf Corp. staff manage the course and golf play.

Published on June 25th, 2016 |

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State unit OKs talks to transfer Bobby Jones GC, but lacks commitments

A state takeover of Atlanta’s popular Bobby Jones Golf Course and part of Atlanta Memorial Park won preliminary approval June 23 from the Georgia Building Authority Board, which voted to formally authorize contract discussions with city officials.

However, Steve Stancil, the Building Authority’s executive director, said the deal still has a ways to go and also cautioned that no one had signed off on any state plans for the golf course. Stancil said state officials need time to review the contract and work out differences.

Stancil’s statement seems to call into question Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s earlier statements that the state had committed to $25 million in improvements to the golf course, including moving a Georgia golf hall of fame to the property, a driving range, new clubhouse, etc.

The state Building Authority’s vote came two weeks after the Atlanta City Council approved the deal, which includes an exchange of property that would give the city control of a parking deck and other state-owned land near Underground Atlanta — an area targeted for redevelopment.

In return, the state would gain control of the golf course — which sits off Northside Drive in south Buckhead — as well as parts of the adjoining Atlanta Memorial Park, including the Bitsy Grant Tennis Center.

The state would also gain control of land near Underground where the old World of Coke building sits empty. The state bought that building nine years ago for $1.1 million with plans to turn it into a state history museum, but it wanted total control of the property, including land.

Publicity surrounding the deal has included expectations that the state would install a Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, turn the 18-hole course into a nine-hole facility, and add practice grounds for Georgia State University and other state college and youth golf programs.

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