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Georgia State wants Turner Field for new football stadium

Stadiums as far as the eye can see

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Georgia State University has apparently decided that it will dominate much, if not all, of this week's news cycle. The AJC reports the state school has partnered with private developers and wants to buy Turner Field - plus the sea of parking lots that surround the baseball stadium:

Georgia State University and a prominent Atlanta development team want to acquire Turner Field and the sea of parking lots between it and downtown to create a new southern campus for the college and a mixed-use development that would transform an area threatened by the Braves' pending departure to Cobb County.

The university wants to convert The Ted into a new 30,000-seat football stadium and build other athletic facilities, student housing, classrooms and green space A private team led by real estate development powerhouse Carter and Columbia Residential would build a mixed-use campus of shops, restaurants, retail, hotels and single-family and apartment homes in the surrounding area.

In a sitdown with reporters several weeks ago, Mayor Kasim Reed said private developers had expressed interest in redeveloping the massive properties after the Atlanta Braves' lease ends in 2017. He also said that the monument to Hank Aaron would be preserved. In today's interview, Carter President Scott Taylor said just as much. Look for more details (and potentially renderings) from Georgia State tomorrow.

UPDATE, 9:49 p.m. Full announcement from Georgia State and Carter:

Carter, one of the country's leading real estate investment, development and advisory firms, and Georgia State University today announced a proposed concept to redevelop the property around Turner Field for multiple uses, including athletics, retail, residential and student housing.

The $300 million redevelopment of the 77-acre site would be funded by public and private sources. Carter's preliminary proposal would include a 30,000-seat football stadium on the Turner Field site and a Georgia State baseball complex. The baseball stadium would be designed in the former location of Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and would incorporate the Hank Aaron wall.

In addition, residential and student housing, retail businesses, green space and plazas would be added to the property, making it a walkable community.

Georgia State and Carter signed an exclusive agreement on May 7 to work together on the project.

"The acquisition of the Turner Field property would represent a major step towards strengthening Georgia State University's position as one of the leading universities in the nation," said Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed. "The acquisition would not only expand the university's current footprint in the city, but would significantly increase its appeal to students looking for a more traditional, campus-centered experience in the heart of a great American city. The benefits to our city and to the university would be substantial."

Scott Taylor, president of Carter, said, "We have a lot of work to do to define the plan, but we want to share our vision for the site, which we believe will transform the area into a walkable downtown neighborhood. We are committed to soliciting input on what will be best for the community and city of Atlanta."

The site would expand Georgia State's role in the revitalization of downtown, increasing its campus south into an area where about 2,000 students now park daily. Georgia State has been credited by Mayor Reed and others for vastly improving and modernizing downtown Atlanta, including the Edgewood-Auburn Avenue corridor.

"We are excited about being partners in the proposed plan," said Georgia State President Mark Becker. "I believe it holds great promise for the neighborhoods near our campus, and it's important to Georgia State that we are contributors to the growing vitality of downtown Atlanta."

In the next several days, Carter will share its ideas with members of the Fulton County Recreation Authority and the community.



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