CRA takes over 12 properties for project, owners resist

The Columbus Redevelopment Authority takes eminent domain action on 12 properties in Burns Bottom neighborhood.

Posted: Jul 18, 2019 6:19 PM
Updated: Jul 19, 2019 9:39 AM

COLUMBUS, Miss. (WTVA) - The Columbus Redevelopment Authority (CRA) takes eminent domain action on 12 properties in the Burns Bottom neighborhood after the president said 12 property owners refused to cooperate.

Columbus city council members unanimously approved it at Tuesday’s regular meeting.

CRA President John Acker said the board has been working for years to redevelop the area.

This area is between Fourth Avenue North and Seventh Avenue North, as well as Third Street North and Fifth Street North.

This is part of Columbus' $3.2 million improvement project.

He said he’s been talking with the property owners for four years, but they refuse to have a dialogue.

Meanwhile, some homeowners said they’re reluctant to settle with the CRA because what they offered does not reflect the true value of the homes.

Rachel Barry resides in the area of Third Street North and Fourth Avenue North.

She has owned her home since 1978 and was surprised to hear the CRA was taking her home into eminent domain.

“Well, I don’t deny the city needs improving. I see this is a good thing, but I also see that they should not give us substandard housing to live in,” Barry said.

Acker said the plan is to sell the properties to a developer and turn the area into a residential four-plex.

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