“As Interim CEO, I always am looking for opportunities for collaborations where all sides come out winners,” DeKalb Interim CEO Lee May said in a prepared statement.
“After reviewing the reports with Atlanta United FC, we decided together that the numbers going into it have changed so much that proceeding would not be a responsible decision for either party, and certainly not the DeKalb taxpayers,” May said. “We hope to work with Arthur Blank on another project in the future.”
The team planned to build the complex on 41 acres near Memorial Drive. It includes a 3,500-seat stadium, a corporate headquarters and several practice fields that it plans to open before its inaugural season begins in 2017.
In August DeKalb commissioners voted 4-3 to approve the incentives, which also included $7 million for 6,000 square feet of office space.
Prior to announcing the deal with DeKalb County, Atlanta United had been negotiating with the city of Marietta for a site off Franklin Road, where the city has used tax revenue to buy and raze two apartment complexes – and where Home Depot is receiving property tax abatements to build a new Technology Center in the area that keep some 500 jobs in the county.
Marietta Mayor Steve Tumlin did not return messages Friday afternoon. It is unclear if the previous 30-year deal offered by Marietta is still on the table.
Cobb Commissioner Bob Weatherford said landing the soccer team would be a huge win for the city and the county.
“Last time I checked, Marietta is in Cobb County,” Weatherford said. “I think it would help the redevelopment of the area and give us an anchor there. It would be a catalyst, along with Home Depot, that’ll give that area credibility.”
Commissioner Bob Ott said a soccer facility would be “huge in furthering the city’s attempt to clean up and make that area more appealing and desirable.”