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Large, historic Decatur property will be sold, and not everybody’s happy

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The United Methodist Children’s Home, a feature in the city since 1871, will relocate

A stone chapel and two Victorian homes are visible on a sloping grass lawn.
The United Methodist Children’s Home in the early 1900s.
Flickr - Decatur Then and Now

For years, developers have clamored for the chance to snag even a small sliver of the coveted Decatur pie.

Now, one lucky developer — with deep pockets — could get an entire bakeshop.

The United Methodist Children's Home has voted to sell its home of nearly 150 years in Decatur, just east of Agnes Scott College and the city’s thriving downtown.

Encompassing 77 acres, the property will be enticing to anyone looking to make a big splash in a lucrative ITP market. Over the years, the non-profit had already sold off nearly 150 acres.

Decaturish reports that a developer could bring more than 600 homes to the site, though no buyer has been selected yet. The city itself has also expressed interest in turning the acreage into a greenspace.

According to a press release, the organization’s decision came down to embracing their mission to help those in need. By selling the land, officials say, the organization can find less expensive digs, allowing it to serve more children.

A stone chapel and two Victorian homes are visible on a sloping grass lawn.
The property in the early 1900s, and the same view today.
Flickr - Decatur Then and Now

Many churches have elected to sell off parcels of land in prime locations throughout the city to cash in on soaring land values. Most have elected to keep their historic sanctuaries, while allowing the demolition of other structures for new development around them. Some, like the Christian Church Buckhead, have abandoned their properties. Others have contemplated selling, but ultimately decided against it.

In Decatur, only time will tell if the historic structures on the site are retained when redevelopment ultimately occurs. A petition protesting another large Decatur development on the site has collected more than 300 signatures.

The organization, the petition notes, was originally founded to care for children orphaned during the Civil War.