Decatur City Commission voted Oct. 6 to support Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA) in its purchase of the Historic Scottish Rite Hospital property in Oakhurst.
The commission adopted a resolution Oct. 6 that outlines its full support of the DDA’s plans to purchase the property, which includes five buildings on 4.8-acres.
The complex, which was built in 1920, was the first Scottish Rite Hospital for children and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.
The DDA will purchase the property from current owner Progressive Redevelopment Inc. (PRI). The city commission originally approved an urban redevelopment plan for the property in 1999.
Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett said “Adopting the resolution shows our belief that this property is a unique local landmark and community resource that will continue to benefit the Oakhurst neighborhood and all of Decatur for years to come.”
Lorri Mills of PRI said the company could no longer sustain the debt on the property because the “devastating effect of the recent economic recession on real estate values.”
“DDA’s plans to purchase are really a best case scenario for everyone involved,” Mills said. “We applaud the City Commission’s support of this plan.”
“This is exciting news for us,” said Scot Hollonbeck, board president of the Community Center of South Decatur. “We believe the purchase of this property by the DDA will secure this historic community resource and make it possible for us to continue to support community programming and activities at the Solarium.”
The hospital moved to Atlanta in 1976 and later merged with Egleston Children’s Health Care System in 1998 to create Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta. The Community Center of South Decatur was incorporated in 1979 to facilitate redevelopment of the old Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital.
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