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SBD/January 6, 2014/Facilities
Braves Execs Tour Several Pro Sports Facilities For Insight Into Cobb County Project
Published January 6, 2014
A CAUTIONARY TALE? In Atlanta, Dan Klepal wrote the "time and public treasure invested in the mixed-use development known as The Banks," located next to Great American Ball Park, is "a cautionary tale for taxpayers in Cobb County." The Braves have said that they will "privately develop 45 acres" around their new ballpark into a mixed-use entertainment district, and that it "will be a year-round destination." The Banks "differs from Cobb in that local governments, not the team, control the land being developed." But from the outset, "the intention was the same: to have a private company build an attraction for all seasons." The Banks "still took cash from taxpayers to make that happen -- on what is the most attractive and valuable real estate Cincinnati has to offer." But "not all of the grandiose vision" for The Banks "has been realized." Despite the "public grants, loans and promised future tax abatements, a boutique hotel and office space have not been built." Hamilton County (Ohio) Commissioner Todd Portune said that taxpayers in Cobb County "should brace for more public investment than meets the eye" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/4).