AJC Watchdog: First Alert

Keeping watch on those who hold the public trust and money

Canopy LLC may provide new cover for Buckhead buyer of derelict homes

As the AJC's Bill Torpy says, much of what happens with Rick Warren is “a shadow, covered with fog, wrapped in an obscure LLC.” The Buckhead real estate investor, now facing possible jail time and the ire of Mayor Kasim Reed, has used anonymous limited liability corporations to buy up large portions of west Atlanta’s impoverished English Avenue neighborhood. He was the subject of a November investigation in the AJC.

Another LLC may have come to light Wednesday, during the first of what could be many trials over Warren’s code enforcement citations. A witness testified he bought her house using the name Canopy Development Group LLC. Warren’s attorney was vague on what role, if any, the investor plays at the company, but a quick dig through public records provides a few hints.

Canopy’s public corporate records make no mention of Warren, but the company does have the same address and registered agent as other companies he has told the AJC that he owns.

Since its founding Sept. 18, Canopy has purchased a dozen properties, all in the English Avenue area. We put together an interactive map that you can view here.

If it is Warren’s company, then the Buckhead man has more than his share of chutzpah. The first acquisition took place days after the AJC ran its investigation, and just as code enforcement cited him for conditions at eight separate proprieties.

We did a quick online search for a Canopy website and came up with this:

The site lists no specifics. We can’t wait to see what Canopy is planning.

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