Deadline arrives for Peoplestown homeowners to accept city's off - CBS46 News

Deadline arrives for Peoplestown homeowners to accept city's offer

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Thursday is the deadline for homeowners in the Peoplestown section of Atlanta to accept the city's offer to buy their homes or they'll face legal action. However, the city says residents can negotiate past the deadline and could get more money by doing so.

Some neighbors say the city is trying to push them out and offering to pay them only a fraction of what their homes are worth.  It’s all part of a city plan to build retention ponds and a park to prevent flooding in the neighborhood just south of Turner Field, but there is much disagreement over property values. 

Tanya Washington is one of the homeowners who’ve been approached by the city.  Her home sits on a block slated for demolition, but she says she doesn’t want to move.  She also says she spent the last two years remodeling her home and doesn’t think the city’s offer is fair.
“$230,000 is just an insult.  It’s an insult,” says Washington. 

Officials sent a letter to Washington stating if she didn't accept the city's offer by Thursday, then legal action would be taken against her. 

CBS46 showed a legal expert a copy of the letter that Washington received and he says if the homeowner misses the deadline, they may jeopardize this specific offer. But it doesn't mean their homes will be immediately demolished. The attorney goes on to say that if a homeowner can prove their home is worth more than the offer, the city will likely negotiate past the deadline. But the homeowner must prove that with documentation. The city has confirmed that information.

Another resident, Dwayne Adgar, said the city estimated his home is worth $122,000.  Adgar calls that offer “way too low.”

Yet real estate expert Bill Adams says those prices are right on point when you look at comparable, previous home sales in the Peoplestown neighborhood. 

“The new homes are selling in the range of $150,000 to $200,000 and the older homes, if they’ve been fixed up, might be $150,000. If they’ve not been fixed up, probably $60,000 to $80,000,” said Adams, president of Adams Realty. 

Adams adds that home prices are far lower in Peoplestown than in neighboring Grant Park, which is part of the same zip code. “Often times real estate agents confuse the two.  They’ll have a house in Peoplestown and call it Grant Park.  It is right next door to Grant Park.”

Yet homeowners who are still haggling with the city feel they’re getting short-changed. 

“Their calculation of fair market value is questionable at best,” says Washington. 
Some neighbors have been encouraged to get their own appraisals, but they don’t want to pay for it.  Washington says she doesn’t have $500 to pay for an appraisal.

City officials with the Department of Watershed tell CBS46 they’ve made their offers and if homeowners aren’t willing to sell, they’ll take legal action to pursue eminent domain. 

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