Marietta council approves Atlanta United FC landscaping deal

Marietta City Council approved a landscape and development agreement with Atlanta United FC Wednesday, an agreement that gives a green light to the professional soccer team’s plan for landscaping, fencing and netting around their proposed training facility and headquarters on Franklin Road.

The council still has to approve a lease with the team, and city spokeswoman Lindsey Wiles said that agreement should come up for a vote by the end of the month.

“We’re excited that the site plans for the training ground were approved today,” Atlanta United president Darren Eales said in a prepared statement. “We are looking forward to building what will be a top-flight training facility for our academy and first-team players, and a source of pride for our supporters and the Marietta community.”

The city and team came to terms with a preliminary agreement in November that calls for Arthur Blank's new Major League Soccer franchise to build its headquarters, training facility and six lighted practice fields on 32 acres of city-owned land. The agreement calls for the team to "use its best efforts" to invest at least $40 million.

Atlanta FC turned to Marietta officials after negotiating a preliminary agreement with DeKalb County.

The DeKalb deal fell apart after contaminated soil was found at the site that would have required $20 million in remediation. The team then turned to the Marietta site, which they had previously vetted.

Unlike the DeKalb plan, the team’s facility in Marietta will not include a stadium.