Thursday, April 18, 2013

Falcons and GWCCA select front-runner to design new stadium

Posted By on Thu, Apr 18, 2013 at 5:04 PM

The Atlanta Falcons and the Georgia World Congress Center Authority have decided on their top choice to design the team's shiny, new football stadium.

The two organizations selected 360 Architecture as its front,runner - or "apparent awardee," as they like to call it - over several candidates. The Kansas City-based firm has most notably designed MetLife Stadium, the 82,000-seat home to the New York Giants and Jets.

GWCCA spokeswoman Jennifer LeMaster says that negotiations with 360 Architecture will happen "relatively quickly" over the "next couple weeks." She declined to comment on the firm's stadium design or whether 360 Architecture planned on including other local architects.

In a handy little document, the GWCAA explains what it actually means to be "apparent awardee" as opposed to, you know, the actual winner:

If an agreement cannot be reached [with the apparent awardee], then the 2nd highest-ranked respondent will be engaged for negotiation, and so on, until an agreement is reached. The process works in a way that if we choose to stop negotiations with the Apparent Awardee and move to Number 2, we cannot go back to Number 1. That is a very powerful incentive for the Apparent Awardee to make sure their fee is highly competitive.

The five design finalists - 360 Architecture, Ewing-Cole, HKS Inc., Populous, and Shop Tvsdesign/Heery/Gensler - presented to 19 participants on Monday and Tuesday. Among those hearing the presentations were GWCCA Executive Director Frank Poe, Falcons owner Arthur Blank, and other officials from both organizations. Poe called the meetings "thorough and informative" as they selected a front-runner based on criteria such as "stability and resources, experience, suitability, and past performance."

Blank, who recently referred to the design as "the fun part" of the stadium process, said in a statement this week that all the the finalists presented visions that could have become "an iconic asset to the downtown landscape."

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