Marietta approves pro soccer site plan

Atlanta United and the Marietta City Council announced approval Wednesday of the development and landscape plan for the pro soccer club’s training ground, allowing the project to move forward immediately.

Design plans for the building structure will be finalized soon.

The project includes more than $50 million in new investment by Atlanta United and around 80 high-paying jobs by next year.

This Atlanta United facility will be a state-of-the-art training complex on more than 30 acres between Interstate 75 and Franklin Road with a new city park next door.

The training ground will consist of six playing fields and a 28,000-square-foot facility that will serve as home to the club’s first Major League Soccer team, youth academy programs and executive and soccer operations staff.

Owned by businessman and philanthropist Arthur M. Blank, Atlanta United plans to host youth development programs and tournaments at the training ground and hold open training sessions to encourage community involvement.

The pro team will play in the Mercedes-Benz Stadium under construction in downtown Atlanta.

In November 2013, Marietta residents passed a $68 million Redevelopment Bond for Whitlock Avenue streetscape improvements of $4 million and Franklin Gateway Redevelopment of $64 million.

Franklin Road bond funds have bought four aging apartment complexes on Franklin Road, leading to new private investment and the creation of more than 1,120 jobs in the corridor.