by: Katie Leslie Updated:
The Atlanta Braves are expected to announce as soon as this week a deal with the development team that will oversee a $400 million mixed-use complex near its future Cobb County stadium, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution has learned.
The baseball franchise will tap a joint venture team that includes retail powerhouse Fuqua Development, office and mixed-use development company Pope & Land Enterprises and apartment developer Pollack Shores Real Estate Group to lead the 45-acre project, according to two people with direct knowledge of the deal.
Georgia-based Batson-Cook Development Co., a subsidiary of Japanese conglomerate Kajima, will be an equity partner in the project and will help ensure construction, the people said.
The Braves want the bulk of the Cobb County complex to open along with the new $622 million stadium in 2017.
The Atlanta Journal-Constitution first reported that Fuqua and Pope & Land were headliners of one of the finalist teams for the mixed-use development that will bring a mix of shops, restaurants, bars, offices, residences and hotels to the area off I-285 near Cumberland Mall.
An Atlanta-led team of North American Properties, Hines Interests and Anschutz Entertainment Group — the other finalist team in the deal — dropped out of the process last spring.
A Braves spokeswoman did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Representatives from the joint venture could not immediately be reached.
The mixed-use development is a crucial part of the Braves’ plans —- both as a potential megawatt revenue stream and as a source of year-round vitality at the ballpark.
The lack of amenities around their current home at Turner Field and the Braves’ inability to control the land around it were among the reasons the team cited in announcing plans to leave downtown Atlanta.
Other leading players in the Cobb stadium project are in place. The Braves previously hired Kansas City-based architecture firm Populous to design the stadium, Los Angeles-based firm The Jerde Partnership has been named as master planner of the overall development, and real-estate advisory firm JLL (formerly known as Jones Lang LaSalle) is the project manager.
The Braves had set a mid-March deadline to have a development team under contract, according to a request for qualifications document the Braves sent to would-be developers in December. The Braves have never acknowledged finalists in their search for a developer; however, they told the AJC in an editorial board meeting this spring that the finalist group has already been at work on the project despite not having a finalized contract.
The Braves previously said more than a dozen developers or groups of developers responded to its request for qualifications.