City of Atlanta, Clark Atlanta University fight over site of Mor - CBS46 News

City of Atlanta, Clark Atlanta University fight over site of Morris Brown College

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(Source: WGCL) (Source: WGCL)
ATLANTA (CBS46) -

There is a fight over valuable land across the street from the new billion-dollar Mercedes-Benz Stadium. If the city of Atlanta has its way, it will transform 13 acres that used to house the old Morris Brown College possibly into a major motion picture studio.

But Clark Atlanta University pictures things much differently.

Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed says when Morris Brown College filed for bankruptcy in 2012, the city had to step it.

"Had Atlanta not did what we did and bought the campus, then it probably would have gone to a discount buyer and it would probably be a swap meet of some kind, full of liquor stores and low-margin businesses," says Reed.

Today, the school sits abandoned across the street from the city's new $3 billion investment. Now, the city has big plans for the property.

"There are a number of folks who have approached us about turning that into a major motion picture studio," says Reed. "That's one of the ideas that has been discussed certainly in the last six months, and I think you just broke a little news."

We shared that news -- that Hollywood wants to move in -- with students who live nearby.

"I think it would be a good idea," says Ariana Canada. "We need something better in the community."

But just Wednesday, the Georgia Court of Appeals threw a wrench in the city's movie studio construction plans. They ruled that Clark Atlanta University should regain the 13 acres under an agreement between the two historic schools written back in 1940. The courts say Morris Brown College didn't have the right to sell the land.

The city of Atlanta isn't giving up just yet.

"I'd really like to resolve the dispute with Clark Atlanta in a friendly way, but the city of Atlanta made a huge investment," says Reed. "We will be making a decision about an appeal by Wednesday of next week."

Clark Atlanta University president Ronald Johnson says he will discuss what should be done with the property with board members.

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