Turner Field is going to be sold to Atlanta-based real estate firm Carter and Georgia State University.
The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority board announced Monday that the Carter and Georgia State team has been chosen as the winning bidder for Turner Field. The board will begin immediately negotiating a sale of the downtown baseball stadium and much of the surrounding parking lots, a news release said.
The announcement comes just a little more than two months after the agency put the ballpark up for sale through a competitive bid process, and about two years after the Atlanta Braves announced their plans to move to a new ballpark in Cobb County.
The Carter-Georgia State team plan involves a $300 million mix of student housing, apartments, retail and the conversion of Turner Field into a football stadium. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed publicly endorsed the Georgia State team when it first announced its interest in the site early last year.
In October, the authority listed 67 acres, including Turner Field, for sale under a competitive bid process. Only two other bidders, both little-known, made a play for the ballpark and surrounding parking lots, making it apparent to most observers that Carter and Georgia State would be the winner.
Many residents of the neighborhoods surrounding The Ted have urged the authority to wait in selling the land, but the authority has said a sale must happen quickly, as the Braves will leave the ballpark by the end of next year. After that point, stadium upkeep and security would be on the taxpayers.
But to help assuage residents, the request for proposals made it clear that the community’s input must be included in the development plans. The request for proposals requires the potential buyer to “demonstrate a commitment to incorporating” recommendations from a pending community development study.
“After a (thorough) review of all the proposals, including in person presentations, the Board of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County Recreation Authority has a preferred bidder and will commence negotiations immediately,” board chairman William K Whitner said in a news release. “We will move forward expeditiously to ensure that we make meaningful progress toward determining the future of this historic neighborhood. AFCRA has been a long-time partner in this community and we fully appreciate the importance of negotiating with a developer that will have the community’s interest foremost in mind.”
Keisha Lance Bottoms, the authority’s executive director and an Atlanta City Council member for District 11, said the announcement is “the next major step in ensuring that there is meaningful redevelopment and transformation of this area.”
“Our most important objective is that the future redevelopment of this area is one that we can all be proud of,” she said. “We believe that we have the right match for Turner Field and the surrounding communities,” said Bottoms.
Read more about the sale of Turner Field at our premium website, www.MyAJC.com, or in the Tuesday edition of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.