ATLANTA — The Turner Field area — now a stretch dominated by a stadium and parking lots — could be a denser more walkable community with a street grid much like what was lost decades ago through development of two stadiums and freeways.
That's the vision of a 92-page draft of a Livable Center Initiative master plan, released online. It shows higher density housing, retail, office space, parks, a football stadium for Georgia State University where Turner Field now stands and transit linking neighborhoods south of I-20 to the rest of downtown.
The planning exercise features puts more meat into concepts unveiled a few months ago and championed by the community through a series of workshops over recent months.
The LCI examines the future not only of The Ted, but parts of five neighborhoods across more than 1,300 acres. The study was launched last year as the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority moved to sell Turner Field to a new owner and for a new purpose after the Braves leave for Cobb County after this season.
Georgia State and development partners Carter and Oakwood Development are in negotiations to purchase 67-acres, including the stadium and surrounding parking lots for future development.
They plan to convert the ballpark into a Georgia State football stadium, and build student housing, market rate apartments, senior living, single-family homes and retail. They’ve also proposed for a Panthers baseball field to go in the footprint of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and preserving the Hank Aaron home run wall.
» LEARN MORE: View the full Turner Field master plan (.pdf)
The final sales contract could be finalized in the coming weeks, with a sale expected to be concluded before the end of the year.
“With the Braves playing their final season downtown and the City actively negotiating the sale of the property, this is a highly anticipated community plan with the potential to reshape the south side of Atlanta,” the 92-page report said.
The study includes three design concepts (see box below). They’re non-binding, but the agency that is managing the sale of Turner Field asked would-be buyers incorporate concepts into their designs.
Carter President Scott Taylor said Monday his group plans to incorporate many of the features in the master plan for the 67 acres Georgia State and the developers intend to purchase.
“We’ve been very supportive of the LCI process from the beginning and believe that our ultimate site plan will incorporate numerous insights from the three plans that were approved from the LCI process,” Taylor said.
The LCI study, performed by Perkins+Will in conjunction with the city of Atlanta, the Atlanta Regional Commission and other groups, took into account the Georgia State-Carter plans for Turner Field. The LCI effort received input from more than 1,600 residents in study area.
Each concept seemed to focus retail development along Capitol Avenue.
“The redevelopment of Turner Field and the core area presents an unparalleled opportunity to mend some of the unfavorable consequences previous developments have brought to the area while effectively anticipating for the challenges a growing city like Atlanta will continue to face,” the report said.
The Atlanta City Council recently approved a rezoning request to permit student housing and larger retail spaces that would allow for a full-service grocery.
1) Ballpark Plaza: In the Ballpark Plaza, there would be a Georgia State baseball field in the footprint of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and a plaza honoring Braves legend Hank Aaron. The design here would have features to slow traffic along the retail core along Capitol Avenue.
2) Big Park: The Big Park concept includes a linear park from Turner Field north to Fulton Street that would preserve sight lines to the Gold Dome. A Georgia State baseball field would be built on land north of Fulton Street (that is not currently part of the land for sale by the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority).
3) Neighborhood Squares: This design would re-establish small blocks – about 200 feet square. It also would preserve the former infield of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium as a plaza honoring Aaron. A Panthers baseball field would be built to the south and west of the original Braves stadium.
Cox Media Group