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$29.5M foreclosure hits Pathway

The latest local casualty of the defunct housing market is a company that for years has been nearly synonymous with the name “Peachtree City.” Pathway Communities, formerly the Peachtree City Development Corp., has approximately 1,600 acres across metro Atlanta valued at $29.5 million in foreclosure.

A substantial percentage of that acreage is in east Coweta County and includes the 491-acre Twelve Parks development that is slated for nearly 700 homes.

Pathway Communities Executive Vice President Gene Levine said Monday that, foreclosure or not, the company will weather the economic storm that has plagued the housing industry for the past few years.

Levine said the $29.5 million figure related to approximately 1,600 acres of property spread out through north and south metro Atlanta. That acreage includes residential, commercial and industrial property, Levine said, adding that nearly one-third of the acreage is represented in one residential development in east Coweta County. A few small tracts are in Fayette County, he added.

As pertains to the total acreage listed in the foreclosure, Levine said, “The vast majority of that acreage consists of smaller parcels in north and south metro Atlanta that we’ve had for a considerable amount of time.”

The most visible of the foreclosure properties include the undeveloped 491-acre Twelve Parks residential property off Ga. Highway 54 in east Coweta County.

Levine said Pathway is currently engaged in discussions with a number of parties interested in Twelve Parks and other Pathway properties, adding that it is Pathway’s intention to stay involved with its various projects.

“The foreclosure listing does not mean we’re going away,” Levine said. “No one in this economy is immune to what’s going on. We were forced into this position that we hoped to avoid.”

The culprit, said Levine, is the housing market that began its downward spiral half a decade ago.

“The general public thinks that the housing market fell in 2008. But the housing market began to fall in late 2006,” Levine said, noting that some of the largest development companies in the country have been affected. “The housing market is worse today than it was in the Great Depression. But unless you are involved in it you don’t feel it. Maybe it’s a good thing that the vast majority of people don’t know this because it would go beyond shaking the confidence of the people.”

As for the expansive Twelve Parks development, Levine said the goal is for Pathway to hold on to the property or to find an equity interest to secure it so that the 694 homes can be developed when the housing market is more favorable. That goal, Levine added, also pertains to other Pathway properties.

Some residents of Fayette and Coweta counties may not be aware of the company’s 35-year history when it was once known as the Peachtree City Development Corporation. It was beginning in the late 1970s that PCDC served as developer, though not the builder, of a substantial portion of the Peachtree City that people recognize today. It was during those decades that the local economy was subject to both recessions and periods of economic boom. And it was PCDC that helped pull a large chunk of Peachtree City properties out of foreclosure in the 1970s.

“We’ve seen the highs and the lows,” Levine said. “We’ve been down this road before, just not to this extent. We will survive somehow, someway. We may look different or sound different, but we’ll recover.”

Specific to the Twelve Parks project, the largest single property in the foreclosure, it was in mid-2008 that the residential development was approved by the Coweta County Commission.

Located on 491 acres in the area off Hwy. 54, McIntosh Trail, Reese Road and North Road, homes at that time were expected to range from the mid-$200,000s to nearly $400,000. The development would also include a 15-acre commercial center and a seven-acre commercial tract, both for future development. The project was designed at 1.85 units per net developable acre.

Development plans called for 41 percent greenspace and included parks, amenity areas and walking trails. Plans called for 187.12 acres of open space with an additional 107.43 acres of secondary acreage. Included in the proposal was an onsite waste water treatment facility.

Later in 2008 Pathways got rezoning approval from the commission on the 23 acres to be used as commercial space on the southeast corner of Hwy. 54 and Reese Road.

The shopping center was approved for a total of 77,500 square feet of retail space, including a 45,000 square-foot anchor, a 24,000 square-foot retail space and a 3,500 square-foot retail space. Included in the project were two office buildings totaling 15,000 square feet. The shopping center was also approved for three one-acre outparcels along Hwy. 54.

And in July 2010 commissioners voted to approve a request by Pathway to amend the development agreement, essentially moving back the date for its contribution to infrastructure and road realignment improvements associated with the residential and commercial projects.

Coweta County Administrator Theron Gay said the 2008 development agreement called for a $500,000 contribution over a five-year period (at $100,000 per year) for infrastructure improvements that would begin at the time of the first certificate of occupancy on the first home. The agreement also called for a $100,000 contribution for the realignment of the intersection of Reese Road and McIntosh Trail.

Noting the plummeting economy, the commission agreed to push the contribution date back to March 2012. Per the agreement, Pathway’s obligation will end after 10 years if the improvements are not made.



Robert W. Morgan's picture

$29million is an interesting number, very close to $28million that Pathways conned out of the city for the aging and allegedly defective sewer system. The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away. Interesting.

I guess this is the land that was the destination of the TDK extension. Too bad that was killed otherwise the land would have been developed back when there really was a market. Speaking of that Gene, if the current market decline actually began in 2006 as you stated, why in the wide, wide world of sports would you be seeking rezoning and making 10-year development agreements with Coweta County in 2008? And a shopping center with only a 45,000 square foot anchor? Huh? Surely you didn't close on the land before everything was in place, which means you could have walked away in 2008 when even the dumbest real estate person knew what was happening to the housing market. Sounds like somebody ignored good advice and made a really bad series of decisions.

Hey Randy, Mike, Nuk! Maybe there are some industrial park sites in the foreclosure. We could get DAPC to buy them for pennies on the dollar from the bank and develop some incubator buildings or an R&D campus. Oh sorry, too late. Just kidding.

Forget the equity partner and investor scenarios, Gene. You have not been down this rocky road before. Better you should work on some deficit-judgement counter-measures, especially if you signed that bank note. Those investment people know that the unlucky bank who made this loan (also in 2008? Wow!) will gladly dump the land for 25 or 30% of the loan balance within 6 months of the foreclosure. Best guess would be Ryland Homes will wind up building $90,000 starter homes on $10,000 1/2 acre lots beginning in 2018. It will be well into the Gingrich/Cain second term before there is demand for new housing in that location. Of course in 2020 it will be Marco Rubio vs. Chelsea Clinton running for President, so the recovery may be short-lived.

Live free or die!

mudcat's picture

And no, he hasn't been invited to the big bash this Sunday. One year waiting period for membership, although 2 exceptions were made for the providers of inside information - beginning with the photos of the shop employees in the late 1990's and ending with the maps of the foreclosed land. You can come as a spouse-in-law on Sunday if you want.

housing market started in 2005 and you were aware of that, why would you start Twelve Oaks in 2008? Sounds like poor business planning to me--or was that the plan all along?

mudcat's picture

Sorry for the innocent but foolish people who kept working there for Pathways after the doom and gloom was certain, but life is like that.

My former neighbor who is an Alumnus of that organization is planning a reunion at her house on The Peninsula on January 29. I am supposed to take photos and help set up the tents and organize the video. It will be good to see everyone. It has now turned into a progressive dinner with stops in North Cove and Stoneybrook. Our famous local Village People tribute group will be performing. What fun!

I am actually sorry this is happening. PCDC did a lot of good in this community and I don't see anyone else stepping up to take their place. Of course the leadership was horrible, but the workers that I met were first class.

Since you two are so knowledgeable about the inner workings of PTC-related developers, can you tell me who and what is Group IV? I see their signs all around here and Coweta.

Happy Thanksgiving! Go Dawgs and Jackets!

mudcat's picture

Mostly commercial construction like office buildings. They also have a real estate company that does land sales and leasing and those are the signs you see. Jm Pace is the head of the company and was on city council for 1 or 2 terms in the 1990's. Tate Godfrey was a broker there during or after the tennis center debacle. Possible that Group VI actually built the tennis center, but I am not sure. Robert would know. Group VI and PCDC had a very cozy relationship for years when Group VI wound up building most of the buildings in town on land PCDC sold. Tate was part of that process as well.

Not sure the Dawgs and Jackets can both Go this weekend. One or the other. I'm thinking the Dawg defense carries the day.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

They are just a commercial contractor/builder/developer/realtor based in Peachtree City. Ron Williamson started it with Jim Pace and Tom Cox back in the early 1980's. The joke was that it was only the 3 of them, but Group III didn't sound large enough, so they just doubled it. They have built a lot of office buildings in PTC, but also elsewhere. They must have good bank contacts judging by the number of signs on property for sale.

Live free or die!

Mike King's picture

...because it was those 'unsung' souls who actually sold Peachtree City to many of us who arrived here in the eighties. Clearly, that one stop our realtor set up for us to go by the PCDC Building and see the city model, the history, and the projection for future growth went a long way toward convincing my wife and I that this was where we wanted to raise our kids.

mudcat's picture

Carole Williams passed away on Nov. 22 and she was everybody's best friend. I worked with her for 2 years and loved her for her attitude and knowledge.

There were many more like Carol who worked hard to promote the city and did what was right - despite the profit-mongering whores who owned her company. Remember how she took on Mukut-somebody for his less than wonderful construction habits and he cut her off at the ktnees and got her demoted, but she didn't care. She survived and thrived.
See you Monday at Parrot Funeral Home

God bless you Carole.

Robert W. Morgan's picture

from some Planterra people who claimed they didn't know the airport or industrial park was there when they bought their house? A few claimed their realtor didn't tell them or take them to see the city model. Other remember seeing the model, but that the industrial park and airport were not on it.

I interacted with those people for several years and they were the best. Very professional and knowledgable.

Come to think of it, the city should get possession of that city model soon before Pathways abandons it. Be good in the visitor's center. And it is something our new EDC can use. How's that job search going?

Live free or die!

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