The City just sent out this press release…
Decatur,Ga. – Last night, the Decatur City Commission unanimously adopted a resolution outlining their full and active support for the purchase of the Historic Scottish Rite Hospital property in Oakhurst by the Decatur Downtown Development Authority (DDA). The DDA will purchase the property from current owner Progressive Redevelopment, Inc (PRI). The City Commission originally approved an urban redevelopment plan for the property in 1999.
“The City Commission determined it was in the best interest of the City to promote the health, prosperity, safety and welfare of the community by supporting the continued viability of the Historic Scottish Rite Hospital,” said Decatur Mayor Jim Baskett. “Adopting the resolution shows our belief that this property is a unique local landmark and community resource that will continue to benefit the Oakhurst neighborhood and all of Decatur for years to come.”
“Due to the devastating effect of the recent economic recession on real estate values, PRI is no longer financially able to sustain the debt owed on the Historic Scottish Rite Hospital property,” said Lorri Mills of PRI. “DDA’s plans to purchase are really a best case scenario for everyone involved. We applaud the City Commission’s support of this plan.”
“This is exciting news for us,” said Scot Hollonbeck, board president of the Community Center of South Decatur. “We believe the purchase of this property by the DDA will secure this historic community resource and make it possible for us to continue to support community programming and activities at the Solarium .”
The Historic Scottish Rite Hospital property was the first Scottish Rite Hospital for children. Built in 1920, it was designed by noted Atlanta architects Neel Reid and Hal Heinz and was listed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1982.