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Stonecrest land will soon be up for sale

CONYERS -- What once was an ambitious residential development at the Rockdale-DeKalb County line has been foreclosed and will soon be put up for sale to the highest bidder on the courthouse steps.

About 115 acres of undeveloped land in Rockdale County that is part of Stonecrest Park will be advertised for public sale at the Rockdale County Courthouse on April 6. The developer, Stonecrest Atlanta LLC, was foreclosed with outstanding debt of $15.1 million

The developer has 104 acres of Stonecrest Park in DeKalb County listed in the public notice that was scheduled to be sold on the courthouse steps in Decatur on Tuesday, according to Mark Kaplan, the attorney representing the creditors.

Rockdale County Tax Commissioner Dan Ray said it is unusual to see large tracts like Stonecrest Park come up for foreclosure sales.

The county tax sale for the property is also scheduled for April, along with the creditors' foreclosure sale. Ray said $16,920 is owed in county taxes on the property.

Individuals can go to a county tax sale to purchase an interest in a piece of property by paying taxes due. Foreclosure sales are where individuals or lenders agree to pay the balance of the mortgage or reach a new agreement on the property.

Developers announced plans to extend parts of Stonecrest Park's large residential neighborhoods into Rockdale County in 2004 during the height of the real estate boom.

The portions in Rockdale were called "Pod F" and "Pod G" of Stonecrest Park, and were to have single-family residential homes located across from each other on Turner Road, near Honey Creek.

The price range projected at that time was to be between $250,000 and $350,000.

However, nothing was built in Rockdale County and the property remained vacant.

"I didn't think there was hardly any undeveloped land left in the county," Ray said. "It's mostly empty parcels of land that's already been developed that's come up lately."

Ray added that April will be a big tax sale for him with about 200 properties, which could be a sign of another tough year for foreclosures.

Foreclosure sales in Rockdale County reached a new record last year. There were 2,849 foreclosure notices listed in the legal notice section of the Rockdale Citizen in 2009 -- a 30 percent increase from 2008.