ATLANTA – Finally, after the contentious negotiations between the city and Atlanta Braves brass over Turner Field broke down and the Braves decided to move out of the city and Fulton county — landing in adjacent Cobb County — the city has found a suitable suitor to serve as the new tenant of the spectacular sports complex.
Georgia State won over two other major companies to redevelop the park because of its history of redevelopment. Mayor Kasim Reed has congratulated GSU and its president, Mark Becker, who had harbored a desire to develop Turner Field since April 2014.
In short, GSU’s bid was selected for the following reasons:
- because of its capability to renovate Turner Field with a major sports facility or facilities;
- to provide housing, retail and employment opportunities for existing and future residents;
- to incorporate Atlanta’s sports history into redevelopment proposals;
- and the pledge to complete their redevelopment plans at Turner Fields within five years.
Reed lauded Turner Field’s newest tenants.
“I am pleased with the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority’s unanimous decision to sell Turner Field to Georgia State University and Carter. Today’s sale is a significant step forward in the continued revitalization of the Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh and Grant Park neighborhoods and strengthens Georgia State University’s position as one of the leading universities in the nation.
“This acquisition will provide substantial benefits to the surrounding community, including long-term job creation and business expansion, and will enable our state’s largest public university to build an anchor for its campus, improving the student experience and supporting our city for generations to come.
“I have heard from community members that promises have been made in the past but have rarely been kept. Still, this did not dissuade hundreds of area residents from attending the kick off meeting for the Livable Centers Initiative (LCI) study and bringing their excitement and energy.
“The LCI process, led by Perkins + Will, will have a substantial and clear impact on the redevelopment plan and final design. I believe this requirement sets this redevelopment effort apart, and demonstrates my commitment to ensuring inclusive, lasting change.
“I offer my congratulations to Keisha Lance Bottoms, Executive Director of AFCRA and a member of the Atlanta City Council, for taking this consequential step. We would not be where we are today without her vision and dedication.
“I look forward to working with all stakeholders to ensure a successful transition.”