Who is Alpine Apartment Project LLC?
This is the business group that owns the Victory Drive property that the Columbus Consolidated Government is buying for $1.135 million.
It includes an 83-unit apartment complex that sits on 5.6 acres near the old Baker High School.
The city does not intend to be landlords for the residents that live in those apartments.
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Fact is, the complex will be torn down and the land that fronts Victory Drive will be used for economic development.
Two weeks ago, Columbus Council voted 9-1 to make the buy despite concerns from some circles about taking the site off the tax rolls. At that time, questions arose about who owned the property.
Turns out, though Alpine Apartment Project LLC flies under the radar, the investors that make up the firm are known for other ventures and for their involvement in local politics.
The registered agent is attorney Michael Eddings. He is a member of the 2011 Charter Review Commissioner and also co-chairs Marshall Greg Countryman’s re-election campaign with former Columbus Council candidate Travis Chambers.
Chambers, who is said to be considering another run for a council seat, came in second in the race for Council District 9, eventually won by Judy Thomas.
Finishing third was Shep Mullin, the president of Solid Source Premier Realty.
Michael Powell is an agent with Mullin’s real estate firm. Powell is also the managing partner of the Alpine Apartment Project, which was founded in 2007.
Others involved in that venture are banker Robert Anderson, physicians Sylvester McRae and Thomas Malone and Emmett Mitchell.
Responding to a question from Councilor Glenn Davis, deputy city manager David Arrington reported that none of the investors in Alpine were involved with Fourth Street Towers, a failed apartment complex that the city previously bought.
He said the city is following usual practices by conducting a title search and a survey of the Victory Drive site.
The fact that Chambers and Eddings are involved in Countryman’s re-election bid is interesting because for now it throws cold water on widespread rumors that the incumbent marshal might run against Muscogee County Sheriff John Darr.
The Countryman campaign held a fund-raiser on Thursday night at Uptown Wings, a hot and spicy venture owned by Chambers. Oh, it is just a block away from the Uptown FisHouse, a restaurant that Eddings recently opened.
Thoroughly confused? Better buy a good scorecard, because it appears we’re going to need one for the upcoming political season.