DUNWOODY, Ga. – During a specially called meeting April 12, the Dunwoody City Council approved the purchase of two parcels of land on Vermack Road that will be converted into a park.
Meeting prior to its regular session, the council approved the purchase of 9.2 acres at 4809 and 4819 Vermack Road for $5.6 million. The land sits across the street from Vermack Swim and Tennis Club.
“When I heard these parcels were available, I saw the opportunity to preserve this greenspace,” Dunwoody Mayor Lynn Deutsch said. “I look forward to working with the community to create something fabulous.”
Costs for the land purchase will be arranged through the Bricks and Mortar Financing Program offered through the Georgia Municipal Association. The program offers long-term financing with low costs. The lease-to-purchase financing structure was the same used five years ago to acquire the building that became City Hall on Ashford Dunwoody Road.
“Our understanding is that the GMA approach is a little cleaner than the other option (a bond issue, which was the other financing vehicle),” Councilman Jim Riticher said during the special meeting.
According to Dunwoody City Attorney Bill Riley, $75,000 will be issued as a down payment while a 60-day due diligence period commences. The process includes an environmental study, appraisal and title research. After that time, $25,000 will be paid if the contract for sale moves forward.
The council voted unanimously for the acquisition of the land and the financing option.
“We’re always looking for opportunities to chip away at Dunwoody’s land deficit for parks,” Dunwoody Parks and Recreation Director Brent Walker said. “There is a lot of potential with this property for nature trails and open play areas.”
Dunwoody’s Parks Master Plan, last updated in 2017, cited the availability of property for new parkland as a need for the city and recommended making land preservation and acquisition a priority for the city. With this acquisition, the City of Dunwoody will have more than 200 acres of park space.