The Atlanta Braves formally announced on Wednesday its development team for the $400 million mixed-use complex near its future Cobb County stadium.
The baseball franchise will partner with a joint venture team that includes retail powerhouse Fuqua Development, office and mixed-use development company Pope & Land Enterprises and apartment developer Pollack Shores Real Estate Group.
Georgia-based Batson-Cook Development Co., a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Kajima, will be an equity partner in the project with the development team and will help ensure construction. The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported the finalized agreement online on Tuesday.
The Braves want the first phase of the 74-acre Cobb County complex to open along with the new $622 million stadium in 2017.
The full project is expected to include 630,000 square feet of Class A or top-tier office space, 500,000 square feet of retail, 450 hotel rooms and 500 residential units.
The Braves will own a majority of the complex.
“In just eight months, we have made tremendous progress on our ballpark and mixed-use project,” Atlanta Braves Chairman and CEO Terry McGuirk said in a news release. “We’re thrilled to announce a partnership that reflects our local roots and global brand as we move forward on the mixed-use portion of the project.”
The AJC first reported that Fuqua and Pope & Land were headliners of one of the finalist teams for the mixed-use development that will bring a mix of shops, restaurants, bars, offices, residences and hotels to the area off I-285 near Cumberland Mall.
An Atlanta-led team of North American Properties, Hines Interests and Anschutz Entertainment Group — the other finalist team in the deal — dropped out of the process last spring.
The mixed-use development is a crucial part of the Braves’ plans —- both as a potential megawatt revenue stream and as a source of year-round vitality at the ballpark.
The lack of amenities around their current home at Turner Field and the Braves’ inability to control the land around it were among the reasons the team cited in announcing plans to leave downtown Atlanta.
“We already have received many expressions of interest by potential tenants eager to be part of such an innovative, 365-days-a-year, mixed-used project,” Jeff Fuqua, a principal in Fuqua Development, said in the release. “We obviously expect that to intensify as we move forward with our retail development plans. We think this is certain to become the most exciting mixed-use development in the Southeastern United States.”
Other leading players in the Cobb stadium project are in place. The Braves previously hired Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous to design the stadium, Los Angeles-based firm The Jerde Partnership has been named as master planner of the overall development, and real-estate advisory firm JLL (formerly known as Jones Lang LaSalle) is the project manager.
The Braves had set a mid-March deadline to have a development team under contract, according to a request for qualifications document the Braves sent to would-be developers in December. The Braves have never acknowledged finalists in their search for a developer; however, they told the AJC in an editorial board meeting this spring that the finalist group has already been at work on the project despite not having a finalized contract.
The Braves previously said more than a dozen developers or groups of developers responded to its request for qualifications.
Meet the developers:
- Pope & Land Enterprises was a partner in 3630 Peachtree, a Buckhead office tower topped by Ritz-Carlton-branded condos, and has been a major player in suburban office development and ownership.
- Fuqua Development was founded by Jeff Fuqua, who was an executive at Sembler and spearheaded development of the Edgewood retail district, Town Brookhaven and the Prado in Sandy Springs.
- Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, Atlanta-based apartment developer and owner, controls or is developing communities in Georgia, Florida and Tennessee, including The Jane, a project in Buckhead.
- Batson-Cook Development Co. is a seasoned developer of mixed-use, retail, office, apartment and health care projects, including its role in the development of Embassy Row near Ga. 400 and Abernathy Road.