City seeks ideas to transform massive Turner Field parking lot into ‘vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood’

Developers have until Oct. 31 to submit ideas


  • Invest Atlanta
  • Invest Atlanta wants parking lot outlined in red to become ‘sports and entertainment district’

Atlanta’s economic development agency tomorrow will ask developers how they’d transform the massive parking lot across the street from Turner Field into a “sports and entertainment district” that would include greenspace, retail, and residential developments, CL has learned.

According to the request for ideas, or RFI, prepared by Invest Atlanta and obtained by CL, respondents should propose concepts for the 55-acre site that “must support thousands of fans and fan activities on game days, and a vibrant, mixed-use neighborhood and active street environment on non-game days.”

Invest Atlanta officials want to be sure the proposals: “provide a dynamic urban destination for community life, including significant amounts of street-oriented and neighborhood-serving retail and parks and greenspace; construct 10,000 structured parking spaces which are integrated into the mixed-use development; commemorate Hank Aaron’s record-breaking home runs and “other significant Atlanta Braves accomplishments;” and “improve connectivity to the surrounding neighborhoods to effect property values, quality of life and public safety,” among many other goals. UPDATE, 7:07 p.m.: Here’s a PDF of the RFI.

For an idea of what Invest Atlanta and the Braves might be considering, look to the Banks in Cincinnati. In 2007, Atlanta-based Carter and Dawson Company were selected to transform 18 acres of undeveloped riverfront land and parking lots between the city’s two sports stadiums into a “live, work, play” district. Or Petco Park in San Diego. Or PNC Park in PIttsburgh.

Developers who need some ideas might want to sneak a peek at a 2010 study (PDF) conducted by a group of Georgia Tech’s College of Architecture students that reimagined — in a variety of ways — the very same Turner Field parking lot the city’s now interested in redeveloping.

Why are we seeing this request now? Well, Invest Atlanta officials obviously read our recent cover story about stadiums’ effects on surrounding neighborhoods. What? They didn’t? Hmmph.

The Braves’ lease with the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority, which owns and operates Turner Field and the parking lot in question, ends in 2016. The team’s probably looking to enhance its gameday environment as it begins to negotiate the new contract. And considering that Atlanta doesn’t exactly have a surplus of baseball teams looking to take the Braves’ space at Turner Field, the powers that be are most likely interested in keeping them happy.

Are you a “highly qualified developers with experience in large scale mixed-use, retail and sports-related development” with an idea to share? You’ve got until Oct. 31 to submit your plan.