Site negotiations for new Falcons stadium coming down to wire

by: Craig Lucie Updated:

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ATLANTA - The Georgia World Trade Center Authority's offer to buy Mount Vernon Baptist Church is "insulting" when compared to the number offered Friendship Baptist Church, according to a source who spoke with Channel 2's Craig Lucie.

Friendship Baptist Church rejected the city's $15.5 million offer in June and a representative told Channel 2 Action News that negotiations are going down to the wire.

The deadline to reach agreements with the two churches that sit on properties across from each other on Martin Luther King Jr. Drive is Aug 1. Otherwise, the new Atlanta Falcons stadium will be built at the corner of Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Junior Boulevard.

But the GWCCA is negotiating with state money to buy Mount Vernon Baptist Church while Friendship Baptist Church is being offered the money that Atlanta Falcons gave the city to use in property negotiations.

Real estate broker Max Mandelis White said the south site would bring downtown together and MARTA could drop fans off at the front door.

"We are now considering moving the stadium away from transit where we could have it immediately connected to MARTA," said White. "We are taking it away and will probably have to do some shuttle bus station. We are going to welcome the World Cup in 13 years with all of these international travelers and shuttle them up. If we are going to do that, let's go to Gwinnett then where the land is cheaper and you can have as much parking as you want."

GWCCA declined to comment on the negotiations.

"If you bring it to the north side you have more open space," said eight-year Vine City resident Lamar Smith. "You have Vine City and the wide open area."