Tyler Perry

Tyler Perry Eyeing Opportunity to Buy FDA Lab to Prevent Air Pollution in Black Community

Tyler Perry‘s plan of creating a cleaner and safer community in an all-Black neighborhood in Atlanta became a topic of discussion after the mogul expressed interest in purchasing the Forces Command building. 

According to SaportaReport, before the compound — which is next to Tyler Perry Studios — was approved to be sold by McPherson Implementing Local Redevelopment Authority (MILRA) in August 2019 for $17 million, it was a military training building. Immediately following the approval, Easterly Government Properties bought the complex with the intention of renting the space to the Food and Drug Administration for future laboratories. 

At the time, it was reported that the compound would be ready for use by 2021, but because of the global pandemic and the FDA’s decision to cut back on its expansion, that has yet to happen.  

The publication stated that Perry is interested in acquiring the building because he was made aware of the harmful fumes that FDA laboratories release into the air. The 53-year-old said in a telephone interview, “The FDA will have smokestacks emitting white smoke. It’s very problematic to me.”

For context, one of the reasons why this project infuriates Perry is because he had previously placed a bid for the complex for $17 million. Still, MILRA denied Perry’s offer and sold it to Easterly. 

Due to the incomplete plan, Perry is reexamining his options. While bashing MILRA’s decision, the Why Did I Get Married? star stated, “I would gladly buy the buildings at a premium to not have smokestacks on the property. The best outcome, if they do not sell the building to me, would be to not have the smokestacks with the environmental impact in an all-Black neighborhood. To allow someone to put a laboratory in the heart of this development with smokestacks is not okay with me. They would not do it in Buckhead, so why would they do it here? It feels like environmental racism.”

The executive Vice President of Easterly Government Properties, Mark Bauer, responded to Perry’s claims by stating that the type of fumes placed in the atmosphere are clean after they undergo an “exhaust system.”

At the same time, MILRA’s chairman Cassius Butts shared a statement with the publication about Perry’s past interest in purchasing the compound, and the potential harm the FDA laboratories may have in the community.

Butts expressed that the company supports Perry’s proposition and that if Easterly is willing to sell it, they would “like to see full use of the building.” Regarding future issues, Butts claimed that he and the executive director of MILRA, David Burt, are planning to meet with Easterly to discuss the project thoroughly.

Although details about Perry’s interest in the purchase are limited, SaportaReport revealed that Easterly’s project is set to be completed in 2025.