Atlanta Could Swap Bobby Jones Golf Course For Parking Deck | WABE 90.1 FM

Atlanta Could Swap Bobby Jones Golf Course For Parking Deck

May 18, 2016

The Atlanta City Council is considering legislation that could transform two properties in the city: the Bobby Jones Golf Course in Buckhead and downtown's Underground Atlanta.

The legislation orchestrates a land swap between Atlanta and the state of Georgia. The city would hand over the Bobby Jones Golf Course and a surrounding section of Atlanta Memorial Park. In exchange, the state would give up its property, a parking deck near Underground Atlanta.

The latter will allow the city to move forward with something that’s been promised for over a year: the $25-million sale and redevelopment of the subterranean mall.

The state is also proposing renovations for the Bobby Jones Golf Course, according to the legislation. The renovations include adding a driving range and downsizing the course from 18 holes to nine.

While Tony Smith, president of the Friends of Bobby Jones Golf Course, recognizes the course needs work, the terms of the deal before the City Council have him worried.

“This is a historic property,” Smith said. “I just think it loses a lot of its cachet if it turns into a nine hole driving range activity.”

Buckhead's Councilmember Yolanda Adrean said she would prefer the golf course and nearby section of Atlanta Memorial Park stay with the city. But she's open to working with the state under certain conditions.

"The most important thing is that this always remain a greenspace or a space for recreational use," Adrean said.

Adrean wants the mayor's office and the state to hold a public forum on the land swap. The state declined to comment, and the mayor’s office couldn’t provide a statement before deadline.

The City Council's finance committee will consider the legislation next week.