Mayor announces progress in church negotiations

Mount Vernon lowers asking price to $15.5 million for new stadium

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Mount Vernon Baptist Church has lowered its asking price from $20.4 million to $15.5 million to make way for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium.

The mayor stepped into talks with Mount Vernon after negotiations between the church and Georgia World Congress Center Authority representatives ended in recent weeks over a $14 million impasse. The church rejected the GWCCA’s offer of $6.2 million and asked instead for $20.4 million.

The congregation still must ratify the proposal Reed reached with Pastor Rodney Turner, the mayor said at a Friday press conference.

Reed’s desire to have the retractable roof stadium built on Martin Luther King and Northside drives met with challenges after the Mount Vernon deal stalled and the Atlanta Falcons announced they are studying a location off Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. At the time, the Falcons said the two churches key to the south site deal — Mount Vernon and Friendship Baptist Church — had yet to be acquired, thus forcing them to explore the north option.

Reed responded with an Aug. 6 press conference announcing he had negotiated a $19.5 million deal with Friendship Baptist Church on behalf of the Falcons.

This week, Reed and Ambassador Andrew Young, who sits on the board of the Atlanta Falcons, met with Mount Vernon officials.

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