Mayor’s Office of Communications
55 Trinity Avenue, Suite 2500 • Atlanta, Georgia 30303
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 08/06/13
Mayor Kasim Reed Announces Agreement with Friendship Baptist Church
Historic church agrees to sell for $19.5 million
ATLANTA --- Mayor Kasim Reed formally announced Tuesday that the city’s facilitation of an agreement between the Atlanta Falcons and Friendship Baptist Church has successfully ended. The church board accepted a $19.5 million offer to sell its property in the event that the south site is selected for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium. No city funds would be used to close this transaction; the Falcons would finance the cost of acquiring the property.
“I am pleased with the solid progress on the construction of a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons in the heart of our city,” said Mayor Reed. “Most important of all, we have kept our promise to treat the members of Friendship Baptist Church with dignity and respect and reach an agreement that is fair and reasonable for all parties. With both the south and north site as possible locations for the new stadium, factors such as transportation, neighborhood impact, and infrastructure needs can be better weighed and balanced.”
“We are pleased to have gotten to this important milestone in the process,” said Lloyd Hawk, Chairman of the Board of Trustees for Friendship Baptist Church. “We understand that there still is work to be done to finalize an agreement that we can take to our congregation for them to discuss and make the final decision, and we look forward to working with the Falcons to continue moving forward in the best interest of the church and the community.”
The Falcons have been considering two possible locations for a new, state-of-the-art, $1 billion retractable roof stadium. The north site is located at Ivan Allen Boulevard and Northside Drive, about a half-mile away from the Georgia Dome and Vine City MARTA station, while the south site is at the corner of Martin Luther King Drive and Northside Drive. While supportive of both locations, Mayor Reed and his administration have expressed a strong preference for the south site due to its proximity to two MARTA stations and the Georgia World Congress Center.
With an agreement reached with Friendship Baptist Church, Mayor Reed said that he is hopeful that the Georgia World Congress Center Authority would continue to work toward an agreement with Mount Vernon Baptist Church in order for the Falcons to acquire the property necessary to build on the south site.
On Tuesday, Rich McKay, President and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons thanked Mayor Reed and city officials for their efforts to secure the south site for consideration. McKay said the Falcons will continue to conduct due diligence on the north site option to determine its potential feasibility as a new location.
“We commend Mayor Reed, city officials and the congregation of Friendship Baptist Church for all of their hard work in helping us reach a tentative agreement for the acquisition of the church property,” said McKay. “The church property purchase price falls within the terms of the Memorandum of Understanding for the acquisition of property adjacent to the proposed south site for the new stadium. This is certainly a positive development for the south site.”
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For more information about the City of Atlanta, please visit http://www.atlantaga.gov or watch City Channel 26. Follow the City of Atlanta on Facebook and Twitter @CityofAtlanta. Follow Mayor Reed on Facebook and Twitter @Kasim Reed