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Reed's Legacy: 'Loss of the Braves to Cobb'

A Patch user calls out the City of Atlanta and its mayor, adding, "Regardless of what Kasim Reed promises, developing the area around Turner Field isn't going to be led by him."

Dilapidated homes are not uncommon in the neighborhoods surrounding Turner Field, which is seen in the background of this photo. Credit: Hunt Archbold
Dilapidated homes are not uncommon in the neighborhoods surrounding Turner Field, which is seen in the background of this photo. Credit: Hunt Archbold
In a recent Letter to the Editor at Patch, ‘How the Liberty Media Braves Stole Home on Atlanta,’ the writer expounded how the 2017 exodus of the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County will financially injure the taxpayers of the City of Atlanta and Fulton County.

The author went on to write, though, that Atlanta and Fulton still have some powerful weapons in their bags to make the Braves sit up and take note.

The op-ed prompted this comment from Patch user Richard Campbell, who wrote in part:

“The TED is falling apart from the inside. City of Atlanta has not properly maintained, and the area around Turner Field (of which actual residents can attest to) is crap. The City has rebuffed the Braves attempts (yes multiple) to buy and develop the area around the TED. It was City of Atlanta that denied the extension of a rail line to the stadium, so as to not cut into the City's parking revenues. The City of Atlanta did not fund the TED, ACOG built it for the Olympics and gave it to Atlanta. Atlanta does not have millions tied up into Turner field's construction. They've failed to update, maintain or repair the stadium. Regardless of what Kasim Reed promises, developing the area around Turner Field isn't going to be led by him. He'll be in his last year as a lame duck mayor in 2017. It'll take 6-8 months to demolish the TED, and no one on the council will want to be attached to any of his ideas. Reed's "legacy" in Atlanta will be loss of the Braves to Cobb and Park Atlanta. Had Reed been challenged by a viable candidate, and a few of the council been booted out this last election, there probably would have been a different result. But Liberty Media and the Braves have tired of the City of Atlanta's lack of interest in developing the Summerhill/Turner field area. So are the residents.”

 

What are your thoughts on Mr. Campbell’s comments? Do you agree with his assessment of the City's overall efforts involving Turner Field and of Mayor Reed’s legacy?
Tim December 13, 2013 at 12:20 PM
Asking Mayor Reed to prevent this would be like asking the next Falcon's coach to fix this season's debacle. This move was decided by every mayor since 1997. Each one declined to make good on promises made to the Brave's organization regarding development around the surrounding area. I would have preferred the Braves continue to play at the Ted with a vibrant entertainment district surrounding it. Every mayor since 1997 ensured this would not happen. Expecting one mayor to do it in the bottom of the 10th is not realistic or fair. When it is said and done, the Braves and their fans will have a fantastic Venue in Cobb just outside the perimeter. And, I believe in a decade or so the Ted's neighbors will have a much better neighborhood. Everyone will win... Unless of course future mayors continue to drop the ball.
Tim December 13, 2013 at 12:24 PM
P.S. It is also about time the residents of surrounding counties who get to enjoy all the amenities of a world class city start to help pay for it and endure some of the (traffic) hassles.
Dookie Doo December 13, 2013 at 02:43 PM
Hey Tim, did you really think that the stadium is what held the city back from improving the area? No private enterprise is pining for the chance to develop that area. The only people willing to improve the area has been the braves but they were shot down. Nobody wanted to touch that area with a 10 pole then and they won't in the future.
Tim December 13, 2013 at 04:28 PM
Dookie, I can't speak for the entire time since 1997 but during the recent economic downturn, you are absolutely correct. Almost no development was being done anywhere and no one would have taken that on during that time. Only time will tell... but there were definitely no outward signs of an attempt by any mayor to push something along in that area. My main point is that it is not as simple as blaming Reed.
Dookie Doo December 13, 2013 at 05:42 PM
You're right. Reed isn't completely at fault. Nobody since '97 has wanted anything to do with that area. But when the braves did ask reed to work with them on creating a destination around the stadium, he rebuffed them. He can be blamed for that and that will be his legacy when he leaves office. I would still like you to explain your rationale on why you think the braves leaving will spur development when no developer has wanted to touch the area in the recent and not so recent past.
paulrappaport December 14, 2013 at 09:08 AM
I'm not sure about this being Reed's legacy, at least not in a negative way. It might shape his legacy in a very positive way, though. Reed has 4 years to work on setting up what will become of the area surrounding the stadium. With the economy rebounding and more and more development going on in the city (Peachtree streetcar, Beltline, Ponce City Market), opportunities abound. Once the team is gone and there is no need for a sea of parking lots, a developer (or developers) can take over the entire area. The location is great - right next to the interstate, just a few minutes from the Grant Park neighborhood and popular restaurants on Memorial, and walkable from downtown. Lots of middle class people live in Grant Park and other nearby neighborhoods, and they have money to spend at shops and restaurants (think Atlantic Station and Edgewood retail). Lots of people work downtown, within walking distance from this area. This sets up great business opportunities for during lunch and after work. And with more and more people wanting to live close to where they work there is also the potential that people would want to live in apartments and condos in that area. As for the loss of the Braves - maybe folks will miss them more than I realize, but I have a feeling it will be out of sight, out of mind. And certainly if the area becomes a place people flock to daily for eating, drinking, shopping, and living, very few people will miss what is currently an eyesore/traffic nightmare.
Benjamin Friedman December 14, 2013 at 09:23 AM
Hopefully the Braves leaving is going to spur a type of development because the Ted is currently a huge impediment to development. The stadium provides an incentive for property owners to leave lots vacant and underdeveloped. As a property owner in the area, hypothetically, you could earn about $20/car from everyone who parks on your land and over the course of around 60 events a year that adds up to a decent amount of money. Why change when there's already a decent, if unspectacular, revenue stream? Private developers probably aren't going to be too interested in the area for a while, but I think the government could play a major role in turning it around. I would propose a three part plan for the area around the Ted. 1) GSU buys up land for classrooms, parking, sports fields and dormitories as part of it's massive expansion and transformation into a residential campus 2) creating Hank Aaron Park to commemorate the area's legacy from baseball and the Olympics 3) zone the rest of the area as mixed use residential-commercial and provide incentives with the assumption that housing and business will want to follow the student population and would be interested in the new customers. It's not the "middle class development" option Mayor Reed touted, but I think that GSU is going to have to be major catalyst involved because it has been the most reliable developer in Downtown and has plenty of need and desire to get involved.
brightrbusinessgroup December 14, 2013 at 12:25 PM
I am a property owner and developer in the area. Whats done is done, its time to move on and prepare for the development revitalization that area. The city of Atlanta should also demand the owners to re"MOVE" Atlanta from the Atlanta Braves......Cobb Braves is what they should also change to. The Braves should be just as proud to also change their name to match their location.
NBF December 14, 2013 at 04:29 PM
"What Have you done for Me Lately" Why Mayor Reed has kept Atlanta Alive during the Recession; got Fed Dollars to Build a Beltine around our city that funded all of the redeveloped Midtown; and saved us from another Tax Increase! How easily forget when we write those cheaper mortgage checks or no taxes for 10yrs on some of the homes in midtown! Wow! Invest Atlanta/RCC/ or Beltline.
Cary Aiken December 15, 2013 at 09:56 AM
Losing the Braves is about the worst thing a city of Atlanta Mayor could do. While focusing on the Falcons, he and his administration took their eye off the ball. Cobb ran circles around them. No excuse is adequate.
Barbara Baggerman December 17, 2013 at 12:27 PM
Don't count your property tax blessings yet. Add to Reed's legacy the property tax increase that will likely result from the fact that Reed now wants to issue city bonds, on which taxpayers will have to pay interest to the bondholders, to raise money for badly needed infrastructure repairs that have gone unfunded because Reed chose to give the hotel-motel tax to rich football patrons rather than sensibly spend it on infrastructure. So now we taxpayers are going to have to pay for the infrastructure with increased taxes. I for one am thoroughly sick of repeatedly driving over these holes and metal plates that have been on my local streets in the same spots for literally years now because we don't have enough money to fix a simple pothole because we're giving it all away for football.
Kerri McCoy December 17, 2013 at 12:50 PM
Trader Joe's!

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