Above: Tyler Perry and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed
Just days after Senator Vincent Ford’s scathing letter to the US Army Secretary regarding the sale of more than 300 acres at Ft. McPherson to movie mogul Tyler Perry, it’s been revealed that Perry became a first-time contributor to several of Governor Nathan Deal’s campaigns just weeks before he entered the purchase agreement. And while there is no evidence that anything illegal has transpired, this discovery certainly doesn’t help smooth this already heated situation.
Last week, news broke that 300 acres of Ft. McPherson would be sold to Tyler Perry and his entertainment company for a new sound stage and production studio. Although some see a great benefit from this plan, others believe that the agreement to sell the land to Tyler Perry directly violates that plan that was put in place for the former Army base when it closed in 2011. The plan, which was created with a lot of input from the surrounding community, calls for a mixed-use project that includes housing, retail, and a research park – none of which would be a part of Perry’s plan. The MILRA board approved Perry’s plan in spite of this in an 8-1 vote.
If the agreement stands, the land will be sold to Perry for $90,909 an acre – substantially less than its market value and what developers have paid for similar public properties; this has raised some eyebrows in the community. Adding to the community’s suspicions is the fact that Perry has been a long time contributor to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s election campaigns and became a first-time contributor to three of Governor Nathan Deal’s campaigns just weeks before the deal was approved. Both Reed and Deal are rumored to be involved in the deferring of competing deals to ensure Perry got the Ft McPherson land, regardless of the original reuse plan put in place and the possible detriment to the surrounding area.Share