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County takes steps to buy land near Costco on Bald Ridge Marina Road
Stevenson Asset Management
The county plans to purchase about 48.8 acres Bald Ridge Marina Road east of Ga. 400 and Costco. - photo by Ashlyn Yule

A piece of land off Bald Ridge Marina Road could become a park following a decision at the Forsyth County Board of Commissioners regular meeting on Thursday, Sept. 1. 

County Attorney Ken Jarrard added an item to the agenda regarding the county purchasing property from Stevenson Asset Management Inc. 

The board previously objected three times to annexation requests from the city of Cumming for the land on Bald Ridge Marina Road east of Ga. 400 and Costco.

In July, the annexation request was withdrawn by Gateway to Lanier, a developer that was looking to rezone the land from the county’s commercial business (CBD) and lake residential (LR) districts to the city’s multiple-family residential (R3) and highway business (HB) districts.

The request also included 183 single-family lots with a proposed density of 3.5 units per acre, 12.3 acres of open space, 1.62 acres of commercial development and a build-out of 2-3 years. 

The land is an estimated 48.8 acres and according to the county’s agreement presented Thursday, the purchase price is $125,000 an acre. Based on the estimated total acreage, the total price could be $6,097,500. 

The county will have a 90-day due diligence period where it can conduct environmental testing and “generally inspect” the property. 

The contract also contains “special stipulations” that include a first right of refusal for the seller if the county decides not to use the land as park space or makes a motion to sell the property in the next five years. 

Jarrard said commissioners do “not make a practice of selling park land,” and that officials with Stevenson Asset Management Inc., “[feel] really comfortable that” the contract with Gateway to Lanier is finalized. 

If developers with Gateway to Lanier still have any right to the property, the seller asked to include a condition to allow for termination of the new agreement.

“We built that in because my seller just wants to make triple sure there’s not a claim that [developers of Gateway] might have looming out there,” Jarrard said. 

He said the county has a closing date set for the end of the year. 

Gateway to Lanier
The city council voted to deny a 54-acre annexation and rezoning request on Bald Ridge Marina Road, directly east of the Costco across Bald Ridge Acres Drive, for a development known as Gateway to Lanier on Tuesday, April 19.