Mayor Kasim Reed is a short-sighted politician. Thank goodness for term limits.
Mayor Kasim Reed says he is concerned about affordable housing. In a recent AJC article, Mayor Reed used terms like “predatory purchasing”. I believe this slanderous name calling only causes separation and stirs up animosity between the sellers and investor buyers. I am upset about this article where Mayor Reed said that investors are using predatory purchases to acquire houses and force the property values to go up, so there is no longer affordable housing in Atlanta.
If the city of Atlanta is going to point fingers they need to look at the predatory purchase of the surrounding land, which now houses the Falcons Stadium. My understanding is the city of Atlanta did threaten eminent domain in order to get that stadium in place. I did like the powers to be forcing that move though. Even if it will displace 30 properties of affordable housing. I think the Atlanta Mayor must have been referring to the investors that buy single family houses as predatory purchasers, not the commercial buyers. But that is another article.
I think another example of predatory buying was the pending settlement of the property at Peachtree and Pine for the low amount of 9.5 million. This also resulted in the closing of a much-needed homeless shelter, which has been in place and serving the community for 20 years, without government assistance and federal aid (Creative Loafing article). It is well known that some governmental agencies are corrupt and on the take. It has been reported recently in the AJC that commercial investors have paid kickbacks to some leaders of the city’s building and planning Depts. The code enforcement dept. is causing cost overruns and demands that investors produce documentation and information that is not necessary to the project but only stalls and increases the total costs of any renovation or new build out. I have seen it time and time again and heard plenty of stories at local networking meetings from other investors who have had similar experiences working with the city of Atlanta.
The local investors are paying fair price for the condition and value that we receive, with the collateral benefit of creating jobs, neighborhood stability, and reducing crime, while improving the tax base for the city of Atlanta. The city of Atlanta also receives money directly from us in a number of fees they collect. We must pay for permits. We must pay for surveys. We must pay for back property taxes. We must pay taxes on the materials that we buy, we pay taxes on the wages that we pay to our workers. We are improving the city of Atlanta's tax base by improving the property, the quality of neighborhoods and the quality of life. We are increasing the livability in these neighborhoods by decreasing crimes committed with the use of guns, prostitution, drugs, rape, meth houses, assaults, domestic abuse, and others. It takes almost 25 people to buy and sell a house. 25 people have jobs because of what we do. Mayor Reed is calling us predatory when we provide a solid 25 jobs! How is that predatory?
There are many barriers for local investors who are trying to improve the city. For example, it takes an average investor using an expeditor, 6 months to get a permit to remodel a house. This extra expense costs approx. $6,000 on a $100,000 house. Most houses that are being sold in the Metro Atlanta area are not appreciating in value $6,000 over a six-month period, which means that we as investors, must keep our offers even lower when we are purchasing properties.
I am frustrated by public servants in the city of Atlanta who are not providing timely and sufficient turnaround times with providing permits, etc. My suggestion to the city of Atlanta and Mayor Reed is to get the government out of the development and renovation business as much as possible. Implore the government to streamline systems and services. Decrease government corruption. Let’s stop causing separation by pointing fingers at individuals or institutions. The purpose of this article is to allow businesses which are in harmony to make the city of Atlanta the best it can possibly be.
Mayor Reed, I implore you to radically change, streamline and help make the permitting, code enforcement and zoning depts. more supportive. I am a small investor who does the best I can under the current name calling, condemning and inefficient administration. Small business is what makes Atlanta great again!