Thursday, June 20, 2013

City's current offer to Friendship Baptist Church for stadium property: $15.5 million

Posted By on Thu, Jun 20, 2013 at 5:58 PM

Mayor Reed insisted that Friendship Baptist Church be treated in a manner worthy of its 150-year tradition.
  • Joeff Davis/CL File
  • Mayor Reed insisted that Friendship Baptist Church "be treated in a manner worthy of its 150-year tradition."
There's been a flurry of developments over the past month regarding the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. A conceptual design was approved. Local architects and construction firms are now in place. Now one of the last true roadblocks to the $1 billion multi-use facility - the relocation of two historic churches - could soon be settled.

But it'll cost the city at least $15.5 million to uproot the historic Friendship Baptist Church.

Mayor Kasim Reed today told 11 Alive that the current offer to the Castleberry Hill religious institution is $2 million more than its initial offer.

Friendship Baptist Church has since countered with a $24.5 million asking price. The city, Reed says, can't afford to pay that much, but he remains "60 to 70 percent" confident about striking a deal sometime in the next three weeks.

The historic church, which was first established in 1862, has negotiated with city officials over the past three months regarding its relocation. Mt. Vernon Baptist Church, the other place of worship in the stadium's path, remains in talks with state officials over the terms of its move.

If both deals with the churches aren't reached by August, the stadium could then be considered at an alternate site along Northside Drive near the intersection of Ivan Allen Boulevard.

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