ATLANTA -- Georgia State University wants to use Turner Field for athletics, retail, residential and student housing after the Braves leave.
On Wednesday, the school announced a partnership with Carter real estate investment, development and advisory firms, to redevelop the property once the Atlanta Braves leave for their new stadium. The team is scheduled to vacate the property after the 2016 season.
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.
PROPOSED LAYOUT: What the mixed-use development would look like
OVERVIEW: Downtown area covered by proposal
FULL PLAN: See the full proposal and potential developments around Turner Field
In addition, residential and student housing, retail businesses, green space and plazas would be added to the property, making it a walkable community.
"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."
Reed told 11Alive's Jon Shirek that the GSU proposal is one of several that the city has received from developers wanting to build in that neighborhood after the Braves vacate Turner Field. He made it clear that the city would not be paying for any part of the development; GSU and its partners would be paying the city.
"One of the things we're not going to do is open the checkbook," Reed said. "I think that we would have a fair agreement with Georgia State [on the value of the properties and the amount of money the city would be paid] and then they would begin to invest in that corridor to the tune of $200 million or more. The taxpayers in the city of Atlanta would not be coming out-of-pocket anything."
The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, which the Mayor of Atlanta controls, would make the final decision on whose proposal would be accepted for the properties.
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.
"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."
Reed pointed out that many people suggested that he should write the Braves a check for hundreds of millions to stay in the area. Instead, Reed said, the city will be making money on the deal and will benefit from new development in the area.