Georgia State U has Inside Track on Turner Field Redevelopment

| November 25, 2015

Turner Field

ATLANTA– When the Braves are gone next year, Turner Field could transform into a housing and retail building– with two new stadiums built across the street.

That’s one option under a plan formally submitted by Georgia State University. The plan itself is still under seal, but a GSU spokeswoman confirms the plan contains two separate options for the site.

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One option would be to convert the 20-year-old Turner Field building into the framework for a mixed-use development, with housing and retail. That option would include construction of a new football stadium, and a new baseball stadium, north of Turner Field.

Another option pitched by GSU was one originally revealed to 11Alive News in April 2014 — which would retrofit Turner Field into a college football stadium, and construct a baseball stadium on the old Atlanta Fulton County Stadium site.

Both options submitted Friday by GSU include the new baseball stadium. The variable now is the location of the football stadium GSU wants, which would extend the university’s campus across I-20.

Friday, the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority received an unknown number of bids for the 77-acre Turner Field property. AFCRA executive director Keisha Lance Bottoms hasn’t responded to requests for information about the proposals received.

GSU declined to release the proposal it sent Friday, but did reveal details about the stadium pitches. Each GSU plan would also include student housing, residential housing and retail, said GSU spokeswoman Andrea Jones.

Jones said GSU and AFRCA could potential chose among the plans as the selection process plays out in the coming months. The Braves will play their final season at Turner Field in 2016, moving to a new stadium in Cobb County in 2017.

Monday, Mayor Kasim Reed said he wants to let the competing proposals get full consideration by AFCRA’s board, most of whom are Reed appointees. Reed has long viewed GSU’s $300 million interest in the site favorably. “It’s very important while we listen to the neighborhood very carefully that we not lose an opportunity,” Reed said.

Reed says he wants to see competing proposals as well. So do residents – many of whom are not big fans of GSU’s plan to keep two stadiums in their neighborhood.

“Since the mid to late sixties these neighborhoods have had stadiums,” said John Colabelli of the Organized Neighbors of Summerhill Monday. “Those in the long term have not been highly beneficial to the development of the community.”

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