Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fuqua-led development group now the lone contender to build Braves' 'entertainment district'

Posted By on Thu, Apr 3, 2014 at 1:16 PM

Only one development group, led by Atlanta developer Jeff Fuqua, is left in the running to build a proposed "entertainment district" near the proposed Atlanta Braves stadium in Cobb County.

The Atlanta Business Chronicle, speaking with unnamed sources close to the project, reports that a strong contender vying to build a $400-million mixed-use project adjacent to the baseball stadium has dropped its proposal.

The proposal was submitted by American Entertainment Group, Hines Interests, and North American Properties. Mark Toro, managing partner for North American Properties in Atlanta, declined to comment. CL has reached out to the other two companies for more information.

If the group's proposal gets withdrawn, that leaves only one group of Atlanta-based developers - the team of Fuqua Development, Pope & Land Enterprises, Pollack Shores Real Estate Group, and Batson Cook Development - left.

CL managed to get in touch with Fuqua, who said hadn't heard the reports but said it was "interesting to hear" the news. He declined to comment further because he agreed to the "strict confidentiality" terms for the proposal.

Several months ago, Pope & Land Enterprises Senior Vice President Mason Zimmerman, who's also a Cumberland Community Improvement District board member, came under fire for a potential conflict of interest in voting to approve millions of dollars in funding for the proposed stadium. Zimmerman later promised to abstain from future votes on all things related to the Braves.

In a statement, the Braves organization said it remained "committed to our detailed process" of looking at possible developers for the mixed-use project.

"As we continue to make progress, we are even more optimistic and confident to bring both a world-class ballpark and a vibrant mixed-use development to Braves fans and the community," the Braves organization said in a statement. "We have been dedicated to finding the best partners for the long term success of this project. This includes our ballpark architect, Populous, our land planners, The Jerde Partnership and our project manager, Jones Lang LaSalle."

The Braves are expected to select a winner sometime in April. That choice should be an easy one now!

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