Mayor Andy Berke abruptly announced Monday afternoon that the city has pulled out of negotiations with the Chattanooga Housing Authority to purchase the 36.5-acre site of the former Harriet Tubman housing development.
Earmarking at least $3 million in funds in this year's city budget, Berke had hoped to purchase the land and shop it as the future home of a large-scale industrial site. The city's offer on the land was approximately $1 million, with the remaining funds marked for demolition and readying of the site for a potential industrial development.
The news came two months after City Council members gave Berke the green light to begin negotiating a sale.
In a news release, the mayor said it was a matter of price.
"It is clear that [the housing authority] will accept the highest bid, which is an amount beyond what we were willing to pay," Berke said in a statement emailed to members of the media. "While I believe this project would have greatly improved East Chattanooga, local government must act in the most responsible way possible with taxpayer dollars."
Officials with the housing authority were not immediately available for comment Monday afternoon.
This is a developing story. Nooga.com will have updates as they become available.
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