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Thursday, September 26, 2013

Six more parcels needed to build Falcons stadium on south site

More public money for a Falcons stadium?

For several months, the city and state engaged in highly scrutinized negotiations to purchase land from two churches so they could clear the way for the new Atlanta Falcons stadiums. During the past week, Friendship Baptist Church and Mount Vernon Baptist Church agreed to deals worth a grand total of $34 million.

Many thought that with the deals finalized, the last obstacle left in constructing the $1 billion multi-use facility was for the Atlanta City Council to approve $15 million community benefits package. Not so fast! Now there are reports that six more pieces of property, mostly parking lots near the Martin Luther King Jr. Drive overpass, need to be purchased to build on the south site.

According to WSB-TV, eminent domain hasn't been ruled out of the equation just yet. Reporter Craig Lucie yesterday looked into the matter with Atlanta and GWCCA officials:

When Channel 2's Craig Lucie asked the city of Atlanta about the six properties, they referred us to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority.

Lucie asked the GWCC to get the exact locations for the six properties and who they belong to. Their spokeswoman, Jen LeMaster, sent an email stating, "As these are active property negotiations, we cannot discuss any details."

[..]

Lucie asked the GWCC if they will have to exercise eminent domain.

"No, we have not ruled that out. We hope we can reach a fair market value deal, but if we can't, condemnation is a possibility," LeMaster wrote in her email.

So, that intense media coverage over stadium negotiations (CL included to an extent)? Expect more. Not to mention the possibility of eminent domain.

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