Atlanta United FC will construct a 3,500-seat stadium, three practice soccer fields and a two-story corporate headquarters on 41 acres of government land near Memorial Drive and I-285. An indoor training facility and additional fields may be built later. The team will play its first season in 2017 in the new stadium being built for the Falcons in downtown Atlanta. Credit: Atlanta United FC

Downtown DeKalb envisioned around soccer complex

A concept for a Downtown DeKalb development near Memorial Drive calls for converting the county jail into an office or apartments and building a convention center, concert hall, hotel, recreation complex and 20-story government office tower alongside Atlanta United’s planned soccer headquarters.

DeKalb is taking bids from architectural design firms to create a master plan for the area, an early step toward bringing the Downtown DeKalb idea closer to a reality. The county asked contractors to submit quotes under $50,000 by Friday.

Interim DeKalb CEO Lee May highlighted the idea of relocating the county’s government operations from Decatur in his State of the County address earlier this year. The government tower would house more than 3,000 employees and anchor the Downtown DeKalb development, according to county bid documents.

The master plan should envision a “live-work-play urban mixed use district” covering about 150 acres of government land near the DeKalb Jail and Interstate 285, according to the documents.

The area could also include a square with fountains, retail, apartments, office space, parks and a movie theater.

The only part of the development that’s been approved so far is Atlanta United’s facility.

The soccer team agreed to locate its headquarters, a 3,500-seat stadium and several practice fields on the site last month, and the DeKalb Commission approved incentives for the team worth more than $12 million.

More information is available here.

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