With Stadium In Balance, Historic Church Agrees to Sell

first_imgAtlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, negotiating on behalf of the Atlanta Falcons, announced Tuesday Friendship Baptist Church has agreed to sell its property for $19.5 million. The deal means the city and the Falcons are one step closer to building a new retractable-roof stadium on their preferred site.  ??:??Mayor Reed said he was on the phone all weekend and even though a deal wasn’t reached by the previously established August 1st deadline, he said it was a big accomplishment.“When things got hard I didn’t quit. And I have taken as many scars and hits and bruises as anybody in this stadium process,” said Reed.Friendship’s board and congregation still must approve the deal.Over the last several months, Reed has made it clear he wants the stadium built south of the Georgia Dome, where Friendship and another historic church, Mr. Vernon Baptist, are located.“The benefits are the two MARTA [rail] locations. Its proximity to the Georgia World Congress Center campus right now. My desire to have less traffic and congestion,” said Reed.The Georgia World Congress Center has handled negotiations with Mt. Vernon, but those stalled last week. The Falcons have since shifted focus to a location north of the Dome.Reed said the Congress Center and Mt. Vernon need to get back to the negotiating table. “I think I’ve done enough in this process that they try harder because that’s what folks asked me to do,” said Reed.He promised to personally visit with Mt. Vernon’s pastor. In addition, he has asked former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to mediate between the Congress Center and the church. Last month, Mt. Vernon rejected the Congress Center’s final offer of $6.2 million. The state, by law, has a cap on how much it can offer over the appraised value of the property. Reed said he didn’t know where additional funds could come from.“I tell you what, solving that problem is an easier problem then when I was told we weren’t going to have a stadium,” said Reed. “And so in Atlanta our stuff is three yards and a cloud of dust but we get it done.”In a written statement, the Falcons commended Reed and the church for reaching the agreement, calling it a “positive development.” However, in terms of the south site, the team says “other significant issues and requirements remain unresolved.”  ??:?? | Play story Add to My ListIn My List Share Related Stories For Whom The Bell Rings Legal Advocate Discusses Medical Abuse At Shut Down Georgia ICE Facility ‘It’s Fractured’: Georgia Lt. Gov. Geoff Duncan On Healing Republican Partylast_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *