Congress Center buying smaller nearby properties for new stadium

The state agency that will own a new $1.2 billion Atlanta football stadium will spend more than $1 million to buy a few remaining parcels needed for the project and acquire another through eminent-domain proceedings.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority agreed Tuesday to pay $800,000 and $434,000 for land owned by Callaway Foundation Inc., and Earl M. Leiffer respectively. Each owns land of less than one-half acre on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive at or near Mangum Street.

The authority also will pay $60,000 for a billboard on the Callaway property, operated by CBS Outdoor.

The Atlanta Falcons plan to build a new retractable-roof stadium just south of the Georgia Dome, the team’s current home, with $1 billion coming from the team and $200 million from city hotel-motel tax collections.

The GWCCA plans to seek a fourth parcel, owned by Larry Zaglin and Laura Fetko, through eminent domain after negotiations to buy the property failed. The state offered $1.2 million for the 0.4 acre parcel on Mangum Street at Georgia Dome Drive, but the owners requested $12.5 million, said Kevin Duvall, the GWCC’s chief operating officer.

Charles Pursley, attorney for the property owners, told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution last month that the eminent-domain process would allow for the dispute to be litigated without delaying stadium construction. The land, currently used for parking, has been in Zaglin’s family since 1902.