SBD/January 27, 2014/Facilities

Braves Close On Portion Of Cobb County Land For New Ballpark

Eighty-two acres in all fall under the Braves' control in Cobb County
The Braves on Friday closed on the "purchase of land for their planned new stadium and mixed-use development in Cobb County," according to Tim Tucker of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. The Braves paid about $34.2M, or $600,000 per acre, for a "57.1-acre parcel of undeveloped property near Cumberland Mall" from Bethesda, Md.-based B.F. Saul Co. The Braves plan to "build the stadium on the back 15 acres of the property and, if the project goes as they hope, use the rest for a complex of shops, restaurants, bars, offices and residences that would lead from Cobb Parkway to the ballpark gates." Both the stadium and development are "scheduled to open" in '17. Although the Braves paid for the land Friday, Braves Exec VP/Business Operations Mike Plant said that the "portion needed for the stadium eventually will be deeded over to the county, which will own the facility." The price of that portion will "count toward the Braves’ commitment to pay" $372M of the stadium cost. The Braves also have a "contract to buy several other nearby parcels of land, not contiguous to the site of the stadium and mixed-use complex, from the same seller." Plant said that those purchases are "scheduled to close in April." The Braves envision "using the additional land, totaling about 25 acres, for future development and parking." The team in all has "82 acres under control." After closing on the "first 57.1 acres, the Braves will proceed with planning to relocate two gas pipelines that are buried about five feet below the stadium site." Plant said that the Braves expect to "have the pipelines moved to the perimeter of the property by the third quarter of this year." No date has been "set for starting construction of the stadium, which has not yet been designed" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/24).

YEAH, I'M THE TAXMAN: In Atlanta, Dan Klepal noted the Braves’ move will cost Cobb County taxpayers "millions of dollars in upgrades to police, fire and emergency dispatch operations." The expenses, which had "never been acknowledged by the county’s political leadership, are laid out in a 10-page assessment written just three days" before Public Safety Dir Jack Forsythe resigned (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 1/25). The ATLANTA BUSINESS CHRONICLE has a package of stories on the team's move to Cobb County, including “Braves Close On Stadium Land, Work With Scouts To Move Turtles” and “Official Who Quietly Clinched Braves For Cobb Is 'Citizen Of Year.'”
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