Georgia State gears up for Turner Field construction

Photo by Jade Johnson | The Signal

Four days after its should-have-been deadline, Georgia State made it official and put the sign up declaring Turner Field, officially, Panther ground.

In a press release on Jan. 5, 2017, the university announced it had closed on the property along with its real-estate partners Carter, Oakwood Development and Healey Weatherholtz.

The reason behind the delay, according to Georgia State, was a complicated process which the partners had been working through for months.

In a statement released the same day, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the deal will give Georgia State an “expanded campus community”, but will also help surrounding neighborhoods.

“The redevelopment offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to bring new amenities, transit and infrastructure to the Southeast stadium neighborhoods of Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville, Pittsburgh and Grant Park,” he said.

Out of the 68-acres that were on sale, Georgia State will control 38, which include the stadium and Blue Lot, while the real-estate companies will take over 16 acres to build a mix of housing and retail space. Another 13.5 acres will be leased to the university, according to the press release.

On the purchase, Georgia State University President Mark Becker said the project will be “transformative” for both the city and Georgia State.

Stadium works are set to begin in February, and later on Georgia State has planned on converting the former Atlanta Fulton County Stadium site into a baseball park.

“When this chapter of Atlanta’s history is written, I believe the sale of Turner Field will be counted among the most consequential redevelopment efforts in the life of our city. For the first time in over 30 years, the promise of a best-in-class mixed-use housing and retail development will be realized,” Reed said in his statement.