Loading...
 

Residents to Turner Field developers: shops, green space, groceries, please

County commissioners hear from residents surrounding Braves' soon-to-be former home

What people from Mechanicsville, Peoplestown and Summerhill want on the old Turner Field site is not surprising: shopping, fresh groceries, and green space rank high on their list.
?
? What they don’t want, according to the neighborhood speakers at a public meeting Monday night, is to be ignored by developers.
?
? “We want something we can be proud of,” said Jane Ridley, a Mechanicsville activist, speaking at a meeting of some 150 people at a Summerhill church.
?
? Three Fulton County commissioners organized the meeting to hear residents' concerns. The elected officials, who have complained in the past that they have been shut out of discussions over Turner Field and its 67 acres of prime intown land, say they want to bring community demands to the table when it comes time to sign the sale papers.
?
? “We want to advocate on your behalf,” said Fulton County Commission Chair John Eaves, one of the listeners. “We want what’s best for the community, but we want our definition of ‘best’ to coincide with your definition of ‘best.’”
?
???? The other two were commissioners in attendance were Marvin Arrington Jr. and Bob Ellis, who are Fulton County’s delegates to the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, the city-county body that manages the field site. AFCRA formally put the acreage up for sale last month, when it invited would-be buyers to pitch sale prices and proposals for the property.
?
? Those proposals are due Nov. 20. The timeline has been controversial because a key study of neighborhood opinion won’t be done by then. Residents west of the freeway have complained that lots over there were left out of the sale.
?
? It’s up to attorneys to figure out who in the city, county and recreation authority must ink a sale that will cover different parcels that list differently owners and may even be subject to some legal riders. The Atlanta City Council, Mayor Kasim Reed, the Fulton County Commission, and AFCRA will all be players of some sort. Eaves said that, in the opinion of Fulton’s lawyers, the county commission will have a vote on the sale because the county is listed as an owner of at least some of the parcels.
?
? So far, only a joint venture between Georgia State University and a group of private developers has made a public pitch for the grounds. Their rough sketch includes two stadia, other university buildings, housing and retail. 
?
? Neighbors at last night's meeting seemed lukewarm about the school. A few expressed fears that a campus would turn quiet family homes into rentals for loud, transient students. But another suggested that GSU cops mean extra police coverage and thus a safer neighborhood.
?
? Several neighbors including Summerhill resident Cedric Taylor said he thinks a sale to GSU may be a foregone conclusion — and maybe not the best choice.
?
? “You walk up to that lot, you have skyline views, you have a walk to the Capitol, you have 10 minutes from the airport. You cannot tell me that’s GSU is the only thing we can do,” said Taylor.
?
? One neighbor said she would rather have a casino than partytime students. She got booed down. (At least one casino operator is sniffing around Atlanta.)
?
? But uniting the demands for groceries, shopping, restaurants, greenery and places to work is a hope that that whatever goes on the site is a spark that lights a flame across more than just 67 acres.
?
? Marline Jackson said she loves that her home is so close to the Atlanta Beltline's proposed Southside Trail. But she doesn’t like driving miles off to shop and run errands.
?
? “It would be amazing and lovely if I could walk safely from my home … to the grocery store, to recreation,” she said. “You gotta have the work-live-play.”
?



More By This Writer

Article

Thursday January 5, 2017 02:27 am EST
The Atlanta City Council's biggest affordable housing advocate must Satisfy activists, developers, and residents | more...

Article

Thursday January 5, 2017 02:27 am EST
The City Hall official is eagle-eyeing a $550 million overhaul of Atlanta's streets | more...

Article

Tuesday December 27, 2016 09:49 pm EST
Measures could make it easier to tackle dilapidated homes | more...

Article

Wednesday December 21, 2016 06:48 pm EST
In latest chapter of ongoing dispute with city, controversial homeless shelter calls on mayor to provide protection | more...

Article

Friday December 16, 2016 06:13 pm EST
State will loosen access to a life-saving - but still expensive - overdose reversal drug | more...
Search for more by Maggie Lee

[Admin link: Residents to Turner Field developers: shops, green space, groceries, please]

Spider for Residents to Turner Field developers: shops, green space, groceries, please