Posted: 5:02 pm Wednesday, May 7th, 2014

How plans for a revamped Turner Field play into statehouse overhaul 

By Greg Bluestein

The redevelopment of Turner Field into a mixed-use project with a new Georgia State University stadium and student housing could also signal the next phase in the famed friendship between Gov. Nathan Deal and Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed.

Just up the road from where Georgia State and its partners hope to transform The Ted and the ocean of parking lots into a new Georgia State campus, state planners are envisioning a pedestrian-friendly overhaul of the statehouse grounds.

The $17 million project to demolish an aging parking deck across from the state Capitol and replace it with a grassy Liberty Plaza that could be only the start of a renewal of the area. And the folks behind the Turner Field plans see the remake of the statehouse as a key part of their plans.

“We would love to see a better connector from Liberty Plaza to that area,” said Scott Taylor, the president of real estate firm Carter, which is teaming with Georgia State to bid for the site.LIberty

Reed, who supports Georgia State’s plan, said it would “significantly increase” the school’s appeal to students who want a more traditional campus. Georgia State President Mark Becker said he’s also briefed leaders of the Board of Regents. At some point, presumably, Deal could also have a say.

If Deal wins a re-election bid, it’s not hard to imagine that he and Reed would consider putting more political capital behind a push to revive this struggling part of town, where thousands of state and city workers spend their days, as they wind down their terms in office.

What’s unclear is how much public money the project would involve. An early estimate of the 77-acre redevelopment would cost $300 million, though Georgia State University would own less than half the site. Taylor also stressed that the cost of the private-public partnership could rise as plans change.

Whether it could one day end up as a line-item in the state budget is not yet known. But Becker said increasing student fees is a non-starter.

Another idea that’s firmly off the table: A Georgia State acquisition of Underground Atlanta, which the city last month said it plans to sell. Rumor of a pending deal had been swirling around the statehouse long before Reed announced plans to unload the property, but Becker said the university has no plans to pursue the 12-acre site.

Translation: The school is firmly behind its bid for The Ted.

19 comments
hamiltonAZ
hamiltonAZ

Factor in light rail from the stadium area up to Piedmont park, perhaps with connections to the Georgia State and Civic Center MARTA Stations.

NOlongerRepublican
NOlongerRepublican

Sounds like an excellent idea to me. That being said if Georgia Rethuglicans have anything to do with it it won't happen. But this really could be great for GSU and the city of Atlanta. I was thinking a new "Atlantic Station" type development would be great here...but this would be even better.

notagain
notagain

How can the poor cracker tp afford deepening channels and this pricey real estate?

With Deal at the wheel shows no one cares...

Derwin0
Derwin0

Turn the Ted into a football stadium and put a baseball field where the old Atlanta-Fulton County stadium was.  And turn the rest of the area into dorms/buildings for Ga. State.


Makes a lot of sense, which of course means it won't happen.

PSWallace
PSWallace

Coup d'oeil. You know it when you see it: this is huge--gigantic for GSU, potentially game-changing for the city. If I had a modest amount to give to make it happen, I would.

Without this step, GSU possibly sputters one day. With this, it becomes a capital ship for the city, and goes far to "NYCing" the town. It should be pressed forward with all determination.

NotDisappointed
NotDisappointed

This could be something really big for Georgia State University. 

The_Centrist
The_Centrist

So where is all of the screaming about Fulton, City of Atlanta tax dollars in this transaction like Cobb County?

I'd say double standard, but it is consistent with Democratic Party politics.

CuriousPrime
CuriousPrime

So, Reed can be proactive about Georgia State on a $300 million deal around the TED, but didn't want to work on a comprehensive deal with Morris Brown College and a major benefactor to redevelop Vine City?

honested
honested

Privatizing the profits.......


Socializing the risk..........


What passes for acceptable in Georgia.

Stuffy
Stuffy

This is excellent. It sounds like the Braves leaving the area is the best thing that could have happened for the city of Atlanta. Meanwhile Cobb County.......*shaking my head*......enjoy your traffic. 

DS
DS

@The_Centrist  Georgia State is a state university of higher education. Liberty Media is a private, for-profit company. Raising $300m to improve university education for Georgians should receive lots of support. Giving a $300m taxpayer-funded gift to a private company is insane. 

And the way Cobb County government did it, too, with the sneaky backroom arrangements and revenue bonds (which don't require taxpayer approval) that will be partly repaid with taxpayer money is just wrong.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@The_Centrist  No double standard.  The Braves are a privately owned team.  Georgia State is a public state university, which makes sense to have public funding.

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@The_Centrist dah centrist is hoping we have forgotten how he shrieked the teaputz line when Reed, Deal and Arthur Blank consummated their sweetheart deal, even praising Debbie Dooley as Jean D'Arc, Mother Mary and Carrie Nation all in one. And, I'm sure he has forgotten that most Libs on here were adamantly and loudly vocal against it also.

Then Cobb's sweetheart deal with Liberty Media comes along and suddenly his dedication to the teaputz ideology suddenly vaporized and along with it his stated admiration for Debbie Dooley.  Suddenly he is characterizing her as a meddling shrew, as he did a coupla days ago when she was advocating in Gilmer Co.

"I'd say double standard, but it is consistent with Democratic Party politics."

I wouldn't say dah centrist has a double standard. It's more like he has no standards at all. (excepting of course, his standard daily sniffling about Gallowy and the AJC, which by any standard shows him to be without principle or good sense).

honested
honested

@The_Centrist  

Hey, just go ahead and change the name to the Cobb County Crackers and they can have all the costs as well as the traffic headache.

Atlanta can get past the long held illusion that paying people to play a kid's game is essential to economic growth.

Derwin0
Derwin0

@CuriousPrime  Morris Brown is a private school, whereas Georgia State is a public university, making more sense to put state money into.

td1234
td1234

@CuriousPrime  Reed is looking for votes for 2020. He has the Morris Brown vote because they have no other choice. 

AuntieChrist
AuntieChrist

@td1234  And there's that repuppy 'outreach' we've come to know and love. Just characterize the students at a primarily Black College as unable to see past color, unable/unwilling to presume that they might just judge a candidate on the content of their character rather than the color of their skin.

But, since that's how td judges candidates, and people as a whole, it is only natural he would assume everyone else does too.

Kamchak
Kamchak

@td1234

He has the Morris Brown vote because they have no other choice. 

And there's your sign.