by: Jim Strickland Updated:CLAYTON COUNTY, Ga. —
Consumer investigator Jim Strickland confirmed Tuesday that Clayton County is lining up land and incentives in case a downtown stadium deal falls through.
"There's almost 200 acres virtually untouched inside the perimeter. That's a big deal for us," Grant Wainscott, Clayton County economic development chief, told Strickland.
They toured a portion of the site in a wooded area just east of Old Dixie Highway and inside Interstate 285.
Where there is now a large amount of illegal dumping, county officials see opportunity.
"Clayton County's interested in getting the Falcons on the south side of Atlanta. We're interested in that economic growth that having a stadium would give us. We need that boost," said Clayton Commission Chairman Jeff Turner.
Turner said county staff has marching orders to have a proposal ready in case plans to replace the Georgia Dome with another stadium downtown fall through.
The proposed area in Clayton is the site of the former city of Mountain View. The area already qualifies for plenty of tax breaks.
"We have layered a great number of incentives...on this entire area," said Wainscott.
The area comes with infrastructure, too. Projects to relocate Old Dixie Highway and improve the road to Interstate 75 and the Maynard Jackson International Terminal are already approved.
Officials said possible locations would make an iconic stadium visible from Interstate 285. The site has an Atlanta address and ZIP code.
"I'm sure the city of Atlanta and Mayor Kasim Reed want to keep the Falcons downtown. But I want to offer Clayton County as a viable option," said Turner.
The Falcons reaffirmed their statement that they're still concentrating all attention downtown.
City Hall and the Georgia World Congress Center either did not comment or did not respond to messages.