Georgia State Reaches Deal To Purchase Turner Field
Georgia State University is one step closer to owning Turner Field. The school has signed purchase and sale agreements with the City of Atlanta and hopes to close the deal by the end of the year.
Georgia State will pay $30 million dollars for the 67-acre site where they’ll renovate Turner Field into a football stadium, construct another stadium to host GSU baseball, and build academic buildings, student housing, and retail.
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said he sees a bright future for the area.
"Today is all about letting go of all the parking lots that dominate the area now. It’s about re-inventing the dense neighborhoods and walkable street grids that this neighborhood had before the upheaval of stadiums and interstates more than 50 years ago," Reed said.
The city awarded GSU the rights to buy the stadium last December after a just-under-two-month bid process that garnered only three proposals.
The Atlanta City Council approved the purchase in May. GSU President Mark Becker said the State Board of Regents must still approve the deal.
For now, it’s not clear what the redeveloped site will look like. Three different plans have been drawn up, each with a slightly different vision for the neighborhoods of Summerhill and Mechanicsville.
That lack of certainty has Summerhill resident Yasin Efundele holding her judgment on whether the redevelopment will be a good thing.
“Well, it depends on what it is, ‘cause you have to understand people in the community have been in a position where they’ve been pushed back, and they’ve been promised things,” she said. “There’s not that trust in what is going to happen.”
It’s been about three years since the Atlanta Braves announced they would leave Turner Field for the still-under-construction SunTrust Park in Cobb County, which is slated to be ready for Opening Day 2017.
Following the announcement of the deal on Thursday morning, Chris Riley, Gov. Nathan Deal’s chief of staff, emphasized that despite the scale of the proposed redevelopment funding from the state had not been discussed and should not be expected by any parties involved.