The title itself is a conundrum, The new city of Stonecrest has another city name in its project. “The Atlanta Sports City at Stonecrest”. I thought the city of Stonecrest wanted its own identity. Why was this project announced before a government was created in Stonecrest? The city of Stonecrest election is on March 21, 2017 and early voting has already begun. Was this some fake news to help certain candidates?
The article makes it appear the project is a done deal. It appears to me that this deal was already in the making for some time, which mean it did not need a city to create economic development as I have stated all along.
Here we go again. Turner Field, The Georgia Dome and Phillips Arena have been in the South Atlanta for over twenty years and the communities still had high unemployment and very little to show in the surrounding communities. The Atlanta Braves left downtown Atlanta because the franchise never received the promised development around Turner field.
Now we are to believe that hotels and office buildings will come to Stonecrest. Who will benefit in the economic development plan? What kinds of jobs will be created? I believe that the main reason the LithoniaStonecrest CID and the City of Stonecrest was created was to use the government authority to access bonds and loans that are granted to municipalities. The bonds and loans will be linked to either the Lithonia/Stonecrest CID or the Stonecrest City property taxes and credit. What will be used as collateral for the multi-million dollar loan? Who will be on the hook if the project does not go as planned and end up like the uncompleted hotel near Stonecrest Mall right off I-20?
No community input. No government review. It is a marketing coup, Where is the Public Input, impact study, planning, financial study, and government oversight. This article represented only one-side, it has no public or residents views on the story.
According to an AJC article Mark Niesse reported that there was a CVI study conducted. Where is the CVI study that was said to have been conducted?
The Discover DeKalb Convention and Visitor Bureau, The Atlanta Sport Connection and Atlanta Partners for Development are not part of the DeKalb County Government. What is the history of these organizations developing projects on a multi-million dollar scale? The public deserves to know more than what was presented in the one sided marketing presentation presented as an article. According to an article in the Atlanta Business Chronicle Phil Hudson reported that the project “ will be developed and owned by Atlanta Sports Connection, which was founded by current CEO Patrick Henderson and current chief operating officer Zeric Foster. It is being financed through a joint development authority consisting of DeKalb, Newnan and Gwinnett Counties.” Where and what is the agreement between the counties?
There was no information on public costs, such as streets, sidewalks, street lights, water drains, utilities, parking or traffic impact. There are 22 fields expected, however, It is hard to see how the seating and parking is going to fit into the compact design. Who owns all the property that the 200 acres covers? This project seems to have just fallen out of the sky.
The project is not in the Stonecrest 2013 LCI study or the DeKalb Comprehensive plan, or the ARC region plan. It just appeared out of a hat.
The photo used in the article of the individuals had no elected officials. Very interesting image
There was nothing in the article about the record of the groups behind the project. Have any of them done anything like this before anywhere else? Who are these people who are proposing the project?
Who will own the facility? Who are the investors? Will public monies be used. Will the sports, entertainment facility be part of the Lithonia Stonecrest CID? Will it then use the bonds and loan authority to finance some of the project infrastructure?
There are so many unanswered questions. The residents of Stonecrest deserve to know the answers before a dime is spent and the project is approved even if they are for or against the so called multi-million dollar project,
Ed Williams. Ed.D. Chair
Concerned Citizens For Effective Government