Everyone and their dog has an opinion about what should be done with this property, usually centered around their own personal priorities. That's normal. However the City can't use an individual's single perspective in this kind of decision.
My opinion is it should be used for some facility that we do not already have, and can be created on a reasonable budget. (I'm leaving the definition of "reasonable" to whichever CPA is holding the City's pursestrings.) The City should also not compete with the private sector. The latter pays taxes - don't drive them out of business.
We already have tennis courts, baseball/softball fields, youth soccer fields, a nature center, community garden, greenhouse, playgrounds, and nature trails. These already exist in other parks, and private facilities like church campuses. Some of them are very underutilized. Paying for something twice isn't a good use of tax money, by any standard.
There are two things that Dunwoody doesn't have:
1) A freestanding municipal center for our government
2) A multiuse football/soccer/track field for Dunwoody cluster schools.
The first idea is not original - it has been bandied about ever since the first news broke about this land deal. There's nothing wrong with renting space temporarily. Dunwoody only had a few months to get its feet under it and start operations and leasing a space was the only option feasible for that timeframe. But for the long haul, leasing can be more trouble than its worth. Buildings get sold, landlords go bankrupt, mortgages go into foreclosure. Time to start thinking about developing a municipal space wholly owned by the city that doesn't exist according to outside real estate machinations.
There's been a lot of chatter about "what to do with Georgetown" as in, how should it be developed, improved, etc. The general opinion I've heard is that it just "isn't a nice area". I haven't seen any crime statistics but when I go down there for a bottle of milk or baby formula at some obscene hour because I didnt' get to it during the day, I don't feel unsafe. Sure, the shopping center is an older building, that doesn't make it "bad" or blighted. But if there are concerns about public safety, try putting your police precinct smack dab in the middle of the development. Any remaining do-bads will scatter like roaches in daylight.
The idea for the second option came from the last DHA public meeting where a gentleman representing DHS girls' lacrosse appeared with two ladies from the team requesting financial support to refurbish a field on Peachtree MS' property for practice. My head has nearly exploded more than once from the twisted logic that is DCSS so I don't try to make sense of it. There's good and bad news here. The good news is that the
There's nothing stopping the City from creating a sports complex with scholastic sports in mind. Dunwoody HS doesn't have a home stadium - even for this Yankee that's ridiculous, moreso in the heart of SEC country. The girls' lacrosse team is willing to rebuild a flood plain because North DeKalb Stadium is too booked for any additional teams to use. Add to that boys' lacrosse, football, soccer, track & field, and you have one very busy athletic calendar.
A municipal sports complex geared toward scholastic athletics would provide teams from high school (and middle school, if necessary) the space to get practice and workouts in and a place to call "home field". The PVC farm has easy access to Peachtree and DHS, as well as 285. There's room for parking, and even access to MARTA. Bring in private vendors to manage concessions and maintenance, so you create jobs - hopefully for Dunwoody-area firms.
If DCSS should want to use the field for official season games, they would be able to negotiate a reasonable fee. (Clarification: this does not mean that DCSS would have priority over a Dunwoody stadium or even that they would have any rights to it at all. This does mean that if a regular game between Dunwoody and another DCSS school were to take place in this hypothetical stadium, DCSS would have to pay up to some degree.)
Thus Dunwoody scholastic athletics would have a place to play, and room to expand. If the "charter cluster" concept, where local authorities/boards could manage the local schools, comes to fruition, or even if Dunwoody should find itself in another county, the infrastructure is there to support the schools' athletic needs.
With all of this said, the City should never again have to ask the opening question in the title. "So now that we have it, what do we do with it?" Plan first, the negotiate and buy. Not the other way around, unless someone at City Hall thinks we have money and karma enough to squander.