The Atlanta City Council approved the land conveyance of its portion of Turner Field to the Atlanta Fulton County Recreational Authority (AFCRA), which owns the other part of the ballpark, for sale to Georgia State University (GSU) and its partners for the creation of a mixed-use development.
The vote was made despite the protests of the Turner Field Benefits Coalition, which is made up of members and stakeholders in the neighborhoods surrounding The Ted. The Coalition maintains that the desires of the neighborhoods and Neighborhood Planning Unit-V (NPU-V) are being ignored as the city and Fulton County rushes to sell the property.
Resident Trudy Nesbitt said during public comment that the neighborhoods had the right to control the destiny of the redevelopment of Turner Field. “There has been 50 years of neglect in the community since the first stadium was build and they have earned the right to have a voice,” Nesbitt said. “What we want is a seat at the table with GSU.”
Deborah Scott also said during public comment that many promises were made to the Turner Field neighborhoods 20 years ago when the stadium was built for the 1996 Olympics that never came to fruition. “The Turner Field Benefits Coalition has worked in good faith,” Scott said.
Resident William King called the opportunity to work with GSU to redevelop the site an “incredible opportunity,” but wondered why the college was running roughshod over the neighborhoods didn’t make any sense.
Sen. Vincent Fort also spoke during public comment, stating that input from the Benefits Coalition was “essential and critical.”
Atlanta City Councilwoman Carla Smith, who represents most of the Turner Field area, said there had been countless community meetings and that residents’ desires for the project were incorporated into three potential site plans created by local architectural firm Perkins + Will.
Smith said she would “sit down with anyone” to continue the conversation about the redevelopment of Turner Field.
Councilmember Joyce Sheperd said she hoped the land conveyance was “just the beginning of opportunities to discuss the project.”
The city and AFCRA plan to sell Turner Field to Georgia State University and its development partners Carter and Oakwood Development for a mixed-use project with athletic facilities, dorms, hotels, retail, restaurants and housing. The Atlanta Braves will leave The Ted at the end of the year for it’s new home in Cobb County.