City is in contract negotiations for Pendleton King Park

City is in contract negotiations for Pendleton King Park
Pendleton King Park to remain a park (WFXG)

AUGUSTA, GA (WFXG) - The future of a popular park is still a big question mark. On Wednesday, it was announced Pendleton King Park might be sold to a developer who has plans on turning it into a housing development.

Commissioner Sean Frantom says as of Thursday, the City is in negotiations with the developer to buy or lease the property.

Signs all over point to a place of rich history belonging to Pendleton King Park. In each direction, you see kids doing what kids come here to do, having fun.

"Sometimes we'll have picnics, we'll sometimes walk around, play disc golf, play in the park," says 11-year-old Aubie Mills. Birthday parties, family walks, all cherished memories Mills has of the park. But like many, she was surprised when she heard all of this could be gone.

For the past 50 years, the city has been leasing the Park for $1 a year from the Trustees of the will of Henry Barclay King. 
The non-profit that supports the park, Pendleton King Park Foundation says a trustee proposed selling the park to the city before the lease expires on January 1st. 
Commissioner Frantom says the city turned down that deal because it didn't make sense. "With either it being a million dollars or an $85,000 lease when we've had a dollar lease for 50 years and it says it has to be a park, why the sudden change," he explains.

According to the Foundation, the trustee found a developer who plans to bulldoze the park and create a housing development. But Commissioner Frantom says talks are ongoing between the city and that developer to come up with a viable alternative.

"It's the people's park and it needs to stay that way. As a Commissioner, I can tell you we're going to continue to have that discussion and see what we can do to make that happen."

It's an important debate for a community that sees this piece of land as much more than just grass and trees.

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