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Filtering by Category: Peoplestown

Looks like Peoplestown is going to see a nice boom in real estate now the GSU has the stadium!

AJC reported on it in an article copied below.

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"By Bill Torpy - The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

The soon-to-be-vacant Turner Field is a rare development opportunity: 67 acres of flat land on the interstate near downtown, one owner and no trees to cut down. And throw in a barely used brick ballpark.

Mayor Kasim Reed said developers from California to the Mideast sniffed around the property. But in the end, just one real bidder stepped up, the one the mayor gave his unofficial blessing to a year ago. It was the consortium of real estate developer Carter and Georgia State University.

Aerial photo of Turner Field and the surrounding area. (Brant Sanderlin/AJC file).

There is a feeling by some that the city’s tacit approval of the Georgia State plan might have frightened off other developers. A price for the the land, owned by the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, has not been made public. But one might assume having other suitors would have driven up the price. The Rec Authority is expected to OK the deal in a month.

The Turner Field plan has tantalizing upsides. It can make something happen on prime property that lies dormant 284 days a year.

More important, the plan promises to give Atlanta’s south side some badly needed mojo. It has been hard getting projects south of I-20. Earlier this year, the city agreed to sell most of Fort McPherson, the vacant Army base, to movie mogul Tyler Perry to build a studio there because there were no sheiks or West Coast billionaires interested in that rare opportunity


Artists Matt Haffner and Laura Bell’s Living Walls mural in Summerhill. (Photo: Elizabeth Montgomery/AJC file)

This time, Hizzoner got things moving along when he loudly hinted last year he liked the GSU plan and didn’t want to waste time dithering. (The Rec Authority has said — ludicrously — it costs $5 million a year to keep up an empty ballpark.)

Mayoral spokeswoman Anne Torres said in an email that her boss “has been forthcoming and transparent with developments in the sale of Turner Field. The mayor has indicated his support for Georgia State’s involvement in developing the area. However, he also stated publicly that he had an obligation to hear out serious proposals from other potential developers.

“Initial interest in Turner Field came from gaming firms,” Torres wrote. “Once the community expressed deep opposition to gaming of any kind, the Georgia State University proposal became more favorable.”



The Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition, a group of Summerhill and Peoplestown residents that has organized around the redevelopment of Turner ... Read More

The $300 million plan (plus the land costs) is one-third university, two-thirds private developer.

The scenario of Reed pushing along the GSU/Carter deal smacks of the Old-School Atlanta Way, in which a roomful of the city’s benevolent princes got together to iron out deals to better their city. One could call this the Ivan Allen/Bill Hartsfield model, which ain’t bad, because one of them has a street named after him and the other has an airport. (Since I mentioned Hartsfield in connection to the airport, I am legally obliged here to mention Maynard Jackson.)

The method of how it all went down doesn’t sit well with some residents. The fact that the GSU plan went in as the prohibitive favorite and that the six-month public comment process is only now starting is by no means a surprise.

“The process is the problem,” said Richard Quartarone, who has owned a home in the Summerhill neighborhood for 15 years and is active in school and civic matters. “They are using their powers to get what they think is the best thing. I understand that.”

Who is they?

Carter, the mayor and the university, he said. This era’s benevolent princes.

“They’re all products of the system,” said Quartarone. “This system has been in place since the 1950s.”

Well, the system is supposed to be kinder and gentler. Back in the day, they’d send some surveyors to poor areas, mail some legal notices to the occupants and start building. Residents near the Braves park got assurances their community would see some love, but largely it was a chance to park cars in empty lots or make a few bucks selling beer or peanuts in the ballpark.

“There have been promises, promises and promises,” said R.J. Johnson, a retired sailor who returned to Summerhill Tuesday to bury his grandmother, Alice Franklin. “A lot of people gave up their homes. The city of Atlanta failed the citizens over here.”

The mayor has promised to make it right to regular folks. “We’re going to have one of the largest developments for middle-class people that the city has ever had,” Reed said in November 2013 just after the Braves said they were moving to Cobb County.

Keeping — or bringing back — middle-class and workingclass folks is a popular sentiment around the park. That sea of asphalt used to be block after block of homes. There was a theater on Georgia Avenue, the now-vacant street bordering Turner Field. There were retail shops, grocery stores, druggists and a post office.

“At one time we didn’t have to go downtown,” said Rose Jackson, who has lived in the same Summerhill home for nearly 70 years. “Now, we don’t even have a grocery store. We have these little mom and pop stores with ridiculous prices.”

But there’s something going on in the neighborhood. Longtime residents like Ms. Jackson are getting peppered with unsolicited calls from investors who want to buy their homes.

Quartarone said, “There’s a lot of pieces of this that go so much deeper and farther that haven’t been addressed so far. There’s been a lot of fear. Maybe we need to take a long, deep breath.”

Questions are still to be answered: What about the mix of housing types. Density. Street patterns. Retail options. The amount of land used by the university. University housing. Running off longtime residents.

Kenyatta Mitchell, who once headed the neighborhood association, worries about an influx of partying students and doesn’t like the idea of there being two stadiums — Turner Field getting converted for the university’s fledgling football program and a new park built for GSU’s baseball team.

State Rep. Margaret Kaiser, who lives nearby in Grant Park, said, “People want to be involved, rather than having it done to them.”

She thinks elected officials, not those on the appointed Rec Authority, should make the tough decisions.

Kaiser worries the surrounding neighborhoods won’t have much leverage once the deal is inked. “Hopefully, (the public input process) wasn’t to appease the community.'"