We're getting steps closer to finding out who will take over the site of the vacant Harriet Tubman property.
The Chattanooga Housing Authority is getting a lot of backfire in the way they're going about selling the property. Some residents are going as far to request a federal investigation.
Patrick Kellogg was loud and clear Tuesday at a Chattanooga Housing Authority meeting. He wants the housing board to hold a public meeting, telling residents about all the bidders they've received for the Harriet Tubman property.
"It seems highly subjective, but without having the documents we can only assume as a public, and we shouldn't have to assume," says Kellogg.
Meanwhile, a Chattanooga neighborhood group is requesting a federal criminal investigation. They claim the way CHA is going about the property's sale is illegal.
Perrin Lance speaks on their behalf.
"One thing that we do know is that the process is not transparent to the residents of East Chattanooga and we need it to be that way," says Lance.
But, housing authority board chairman Eddie Holmes is convinced they've done nothing wrong.
"I'm not afraid of a HUD investigation and I'm not afraid of anyone looking at what we've done in this process," says Holmes.
Three bidders want to buy the Harriet Tubman property -- the city of Chattanooga, Lakewood Development, and a private developer named Geofrey Singer.
Lakewood is the same company whose deal with CHA fell through earlier in the process.
But, they seem to be favored by CHA, offering $3.3 million this time -- up from their initial offer of $2.8 million.
"Even the Lakewood offer had some contingencies in it, so until that is resolved, then they're [the housing authority staff] not in the position to make a recommendation," says Holmes.
City councilman Moses Freeman says the city will put the property to good use and create more jobs.
"With us having ownership of it we then would look for private developers to develop that site," says Freeman.
The vote will likely happen at the housing authority's March meeting. Depend on us to keep you posted on when that vote happens.
By Jerry Askin