Planners working on a community study for the future of neighborhoods near Turner Field unveiled on Sunday three early concepts for the stadium neighborhoods.
The concepts, shown below, all include denser development, transit connecting the area to downtown via Capitol Avenue and a future for Turner Field as a football stadium for Georgia State University. Georgia State and development partners Carter and Oakwood Development are in negotiations to purchase the stadium and surrounding parking lots for future development.
They plan to convert the ballpark into a Georgia State football stadium, and build student housing, market rate apartments, senior living, single-family homes and retail. Their plans also call for a baseball field to go in the footprint of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and preserving the Hank Aaron home run wall.
The design concepts shown Sunday outside Turner Field during Atlanta Streets Alive were drafted using community input through the Atlanta Regional Commission’s Livable Centers Initiative. They’re non-binding, but the agency that is managing the sale of Turner Field asked would-be buyers incorporate concepts into their designs.
The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, which owns the Ted, put in its sales process that the buyer of Turner Field incorporate elements of the community’s LCI study into their plans.
The design concepts also include more residential offerings,office space, parks and and improved street grids. All seemed to focus retail development along Capitol Avenue.
Here’s a look at each of the three concepts displayed Sunday by the city’s planning department, Invest Atlanta and designers from Perkins+Will.
1) Ballpark Plaza
In the Ballpark Plaza, there would be a Georgia State baseball field in the footprint of the former Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium and a plaza honoring Braves legend Hank Aaron. The design here would have features to slow traffic along the retail core along Capitol Avenue.
2) Big Park
The Big Park concept includes a linear park from Turner Field north to Fulton Street that would preserve sight lines to the Gold Dome. A Georgia State baseball field would be built on land north of Fulton Street (that is not currently part of the land for sale by the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority).
3) Neighborhood Squares
This design would re-establish small blocks – about 200 feet square. It also would preserve the former infield of the old Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium as a plaza honoring Aaron. A Panthers baseball field would be built to the south and west of the original Braves stadium.
Terraine Echols, a Summerhill resident, said he liked the third concept of the three, and particularly liked planners’ concentration on restoring at least some of the area’s original street grid, which was cut off by two stadiums and the freeways.
“They definitely need to integrate transportation options,” he said. He also liked the retail and density focused along Capitol Avenue.
Grant Park resident Cornelius Gadson said he preferred the Big Park plan with its mall from Turner Field toward downtown and renewed street grid.
“I like the return to a grid to promote density,” he said. But Gadson said he hopes that whatever plan emerges, that it takes into consideration the needs of long time residents. The area needs a grocery store, dining and more retail.
The residents want offerings that are aimed at them and not just students, he said.
Gadson also said he’s worried about development potentially displacing longtime residents if price spike and cause property taxes to climb.
“That diversity is important to keep,” he said.
The recreation authority and the Georgia State team are negotiating a deal to buy the property. They hope to close a deal this year.
The LCI community planning process is expected to wrap up with a final presentation to residents in June.