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Atlanta United FC won't build its HQ and training facility in DeKalb County, might head to Marietta

Controversial deal falls apart over potential cost of site clean-up, county says

Remember all those pretty renderings of Atlanta United FC's plans for a training center and team headquarters in DeKalb County off Memorial Drive? Ain't gonna happen.
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?DeKalb officials announced today in a statement that the county and city's professional soccer team have "mutually concluded" that they won't move forward with the plan for the 41-acre site near Kensington Road and Memorial Drive. According to the county, the two parties decided the site "is not a viable location for the complex due to higher-than-anticipated site preparation and remediation costs necessary for a project of this nature."
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?County commissioners OK'ed the controversial deal — they refused to hear public input before voting — with team owner Arthur Blank in August. Under the agreement, DeKalb would pick up the tab for site remediation and preparation. An environmental and geotechnical analysis began in September. According to the county, the total cost to clean up the site would exceed $20 million, making it "not financially feasible for the county, its taxpayers or Atlanta United."
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?“As Interim CEO, I always am looking for opportunities for collaborations where all sides come out winners,” Interim CEO Lee May said in a statement. "After reviewing the reports with Atlanta United FC, we decided together that the numbers going into it have changed so much that proceeding would not be a responsible decision for either party, and certainly not the DeKalb taxpayers. We hope to work with Arthur Blank on another project in the future.”
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?The county still wants to create a "robust, vital, and thriving Memorial Drive corridor" and says other developers interested in moving dirt shouldn't fear a potential clean-up of the site. It was AUFC's plans to develop the entire 41 acres and the requirements of a Major League Soccer training facility that added "significant additional costs for ground preparation."
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?So the obvious question is, where does AUFC build its training facility? According to the Atlanta Journal Constitution's sources, the team plans to build the project in Marietta. Marietta officials, prior to and during the DeKalb deal, had been wooing Blank. They hoped that he'd build the center on Franklin Road, where the city had recently purchased and demolished apartment complexes in the hopes that economic development would follow. According to the Marietta Daily Journal, the team has been conducting due diligence on a 49-acre city-owned parcel along Franklin Road in case the DeKalb deal fell apart.   




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