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Board, developer reach accord
Easement agreement means mall plans may move forward
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Forsyth County News
Commissioners and representatives of an upscale, mixed-use project in south Forsyth County have reached a consensus on a construction agreement accelerating development plans.

An easement agreement, which outlines the basics of the county’s intent to begin work on the southern end of Ronald Reagan Boulevard, passed 4-1 at a called meeting Friday morning.

The agreement covers infrastructure improvements sought by the developers for an upscale, mixed-use project on 164 acres along Ga. 400.

Taubman Centers representative Mark Putney called the agreement “a very important step in making all this happen.”
Putney added that the easement “signifies to anchor stores that progress is being made, and it is, but it shows it in a physical way.”

Commissioner David Richard, who cast the lone vote against the agreement, said the property purchased by Taubman contains a condition that states the developer must donate right of way.

“They knew the condition was on the property when they bought it,” Richard said. “That’s the only issue I took with having this agreement.”

The easement agreement details 1.75 miles of road construction between McGinnis Ferry and McFarland roads.

Commissioners also voted 5-0 to approve a bid for construction company C.W. Matthews for $11.9 million.

County Attorney Ken Jarrard and administrators recently met with Taubman representatives to work out details in the wording of the construction agreement.

“We sat down and walked through the agreement and tried to bridge areas that separated us,” Jarrard said.

Jarrard explained the easement agreement does not bind the county to enter into an overall development agreement, which could be the next step in the Taubman project.

The easement accord now moves to the regular commission meeting Thursday for formal approval.

“It’s one more important step,” Putney said. “We had the overlay, which was important. Now we have the easement agreement that allows construction to begin. Next will be the development agreement.”