Carter and Georgia State announce the next steps for Turner Field

Photos by Jade Johnson | The Signal

by Christina Maxouris, Michael Cornell and Wesley Dunkirk

Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

The stadium

As Georgia State’s gearing up to start the renovation process on the former Braves stadium, it released, along with Carter Development, images of what the surrounding space is expected to look like by the end of constructions and images reminiscent of a ‘futuristic’ Europe feel.

The first phase of the project, according to Carter President Scott Taylor, is a student housing complex of about 850 beds, followed by retail multi-family buildings. Projects that Taylor hopes to kick off by the end of the year.

Real Estate partners Carter Development and Healy Weatherholtz Properties will line Hank Aaron Drive and Georgia Avenue with retail, residence buildings, along with transit stops, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.

Taylor said the company’s actively leasing retail space on Georgia avenue, targeting small and local businesses, as well as coffee houses, which will bring an “authentic feel and atmosphere.” The goal, he said, is to make it a very attractive place for families, as well as Georgia State students.

Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal


With the sale of Turner Field, the university acquired the Green Lot, and has shifted their attention to providing a safe and secure environment for students’ cars. Georgia State police gained full control over Turner Field security on Dec. 31, 2016.

Georgia State University Police Department (GSUPD) Chief of Police Joseph Spillane said that he will be making changes to Turner Field parking security by increasing officer visibility and interaction with the student body, installing cameras and having officers patrol the lots hourly.

“I would like to increase visibility by having officers wear more traffic vests and eliminate most of the car patrolling on campus and go to a more interactive campus where officers are talking to students and faculty while on bicycles and segways,” Spillane said.

Spillane said that besides security cameras, he will bring in open air golf carts for officers to drive around and patrol the lots.

According to the chief, this will help police “have a better idea of what’s going on in the lot rather than sitting in a patrol car with the windows up and not hearing glass breaks or screams.”

“The golf carts will be in the upper lots where the students park and the cameras will be watching the upper lots and other areas as well, in addition we do patrol the decks on campus, however, they are very controlled because they are paid,” he said.

Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

The Neighbors

Following the finalization of Georgia State’s purchase of Turner Field, the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition (TFCBC) held an “emergency meeting” to discuss their plans to continue pursuing a Community Benefits Agreement (CBA) even after the purchase was finalized. United Students Against Sweatshops (USAS) has long been calling for Georgia State University President Mark Becker to sign a CBA, which would allow residents of Turner Field’s surrounding communities oversight of the development and have a say in the process on issues like affordable housing.

Marco Palma, USAS member, said the group will continue to fight for a CBA. Even though the sale is finalized, Palma said the university president can still sign and keep Turner neighbors in the loop.

“Changes can’t be made to the agreement Becker had with Carter Construction. However, Becker can still sign the CBA and agree to work with the residents,” Palma said. “The [Housing Justice League] is on board with improving their community, they just want to be able to be part of the process, [and wants] Becker to promise that he will keep them in the loop and allow elected neighborhood representatives like Sherise Brown to be part of an oversight committee which would ensure that the residents’ opinions are taken into consideration.”

The meeting brought together multiple community groups from the areas surrounding Turner Field, many local politicians, including State Senator and Atlanta mayoral candidate Vincent Fort, and a number of residents from the areas surrounding the Braves’ former ballpark to continue their efforts of organized protests.

Patricio Cambias, a Georgia State student serving as a representative of USAS within the coalition, also expressed hope that a CBA is still attainable following the sale.

“From the beginning, we’ve been inspired by Columbia University students who achieved the very same goal in New York ten years ago,” Cambias said. “They were not stopped by the finalization of their university’s deal. They understood that retroactively a CBA was not only possible, but necessary, and that’s exactly what they accomplished. So we see absolutely no reason to stop.”

According to Taylor, there’s plenty the real estate companies are doing to benefit the surrounding communities.

“We will be adding back elements of the original grid, reducing stormwater run-off, providing green space and the types of amenities that will serve the community, have a 10 percent workforce housing component,” are only some of the things he said will work to serve the greater community.