A new owner could build whatever it wants on the CNN Center, within zoning requirements, if it’s not subject to a ground lease or air rights, she said. The owner could demolish the building or expand it.
If the new owner needs to finance the redevelopment of CNN, a bank would be more likely to lend money if the property is not encumbered by leases or liens, she said.
Robert Wheeler, a spokesman for AT&T’s WarnerMedia division, declined to comment. Turner Broadcasting is a business unit of WarnerMedia.
Frank Smith, deputy executive director of the Georgia State Properties Commission, confirmed that the transaction closed on June 14 but declined to comment.
The state had leased the rights to use the property to AT&T and its predecessor companies since 1973. CNN Center opened in 1976.
CNN Center is located next to the Gulch, a 50-acre site of empty parking lots and train tracks. Los Angeles-based CIM Group plans to develop a $5 billion mixed-use project on the Gulch site called Centennial Yards. CNN Center is connected to State Farm Arena, the Atlanta Hawks’ home court, and is near Mercedes-Benz Stadium, home of both the Atlanta Falcons and Atlanta United.