ATLANTA — Channel 2 Action News has exclusively learned that Georgia State University has struck a deal with the city of Atlanta to purchase Turner Field when the Braves leave the facility at the end of the season.
The city announced negotiations with GSU in January. Now, the paperwork has officially been signed. %
The deal will create one of the largest redevelopment projects on the south side of Atlanta.
Mayor Kasim Reed told Chanel 2's Dave Huddleston that this project will change the scope of the city.
"We are actually going to achieve what folks have been talking about what should have happened after the 1996 Olympics, in the next 1 to 5 years,” Reed said.
The development company that is overseeing the project for GSU is already on site, director of the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Board and Atlanta City Councilmember Keisha Lance Bottoms told Huddleston.
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The school will take ownership as soon as the Braves move out on Dec. 31.
Reed says GSU plans to convert Turner Field into a football stadium, build a new baseball stadium, student housing, shops, restaurants and academic buildings. He says GSU has committed at least $200 million in redevelopment of the 70-acre site.
"It really does, I think, put a nice close on the chapter around the Braves decision to find a new home,” Reed said.
Georgia State hopes to open their football stadium by the 2017 season.
"The redevelopment that's going to happen in and around Turner Field will quite frankly be like nothing we've seen since Atlantic Station in the city,” Lance Bottoms said.
Lance Bottoms negotiated the deal with GSU.
“It’s going to be phenomenal,” she said.
She says Georgia State also plans to work within the community.
"You have the university in this community willing to work with the kids in this community. It's not just a physical redevelopment, but a community redevelopment,” she said.
As part of the deal, Georgia State University and partner developers plan to build student housing, shops, restaurants, academic buildings, offices and apartments.
"Goodbye asphalt, eyesore. Hello 21st century, hello retail, walkable streets and bike paths," Reed said.
In a news conference Thursday, he said the massive project will create businesses and jobs and inspire generations to come.
"We're going to make this one of the most attractive, most vibrant, most livealbe communities in the life of the city of Atlanta and we will have changed the city of Atlanta forever," he said.
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