Atlanta Mayor Reed Pressing Braves Officials For Firm Exit Date From Turner Field
Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed last month sent a letter to the Braves "requesting a firm departure date" in anticipation of their move to Cobb County, according to Klepal & Leslie of the ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION. Reed yesterday said that he has asked Braves officials "whether they plan to renew the team’s lease before it expires" in '16. Braves President John Schuerholz later responded to Reed's letter, saying the team was "open to meeting" with Reed. Braves Dir of PR Beth Marshall said that the letter, dated June 20, marks the "first correspondence between the city and Braves since the team’s stunning announcement in November that it plans to leave for Cobb County" in '17. The Braves have until Jan. 1, 2016, to "officially give notice" to the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority of "whether it will exercise its right to a five-year extension" (ATLANTA JOURNAL-CONSTITUTION, 7/17). The MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL reports the Cobb County Board of Commissioners on Tuesday voted "unanimously to approve the rezoning requested by the Braves" for the team’s $400M mixed-use development that will surround the new $672M ballpark. The commission’s vote "changed the zoning to regional retail commercial from general commercial, office high-rise and institutional." It will "allow the Braves to build up to 630,000 square feet of Class A office space, 500,000 square feet of 'upscale' retail space, 450 hotel rooms, 600 'luxury' multi-family residential units and 100,000 square feet for a multi-use entertainment facility." Braves Exec VP/Business Operations Mike Plant said that it would "be but a few days until the franchise inks a deal with its development partner for the site" (MARIETTA DAILY JOURNAL, 7/17).