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Atlanta company has plans for troubled apartments | News

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Atlanta company has plans for troubled apartments

An Atlanta company wants to buy the troubled Macon Gardens apartment complex and redevelop it.

That's according to a Bibb County commissioner, Al Tillman.

ID=4463975Tuesday, Benoit Group's vice president of development, Edrick Harris, asked Bibb County's commission for half a million dollars in county funds to support the redevelopment project.

Harris says the company plans to invest $10 million into fixing up the complex. Much of that money would come from state tax credits.

Several commissioners said though Macon Gardens is in desperate need of improvements, there may not be enough money in the county's budget to support the project.

But Commissioner Al Tillman says the county pumps millions of dollars into downtown development and needs to focus on other areas that need the help.

"Here's an opportunity of a company that's willing to make a huge, millions of millions of dollar investment and we essentially hesitate to say there's a possibility we don't have enough money. That's unacceptable when we're spending millions of dollars designated for downtown," Tillman said.

For years, the apartment complex at 3601 Mercer University Drive has been plagued by health and safety complaints from tenants.

In 2011, federal inspectors gave Macon Gardens a score of 35 out of 100. The next year, the complex received a 57 score.

The Atlanta office of the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development has not disclosed the score from a March inspection that came after another round of complaints.

The federal agency says it pays most of the rent at the complex, through Section 8 subsidies.

The 131-unit complex is currently valued at about $2.1 million, according to Bibb County tax records.

According to its website, the Benoit Group specializes in developing various types of affordable housing.


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