From The President
Georgia State takes final steps toward purchase and redevelopment of Turner Field.
I’m excited to share the latest details of our plans for the purchase and renovation of the Turner Field site, a project that will reshape Georgia State University and Atlanta.
From the beginning I have said that this project is more like a marathon than a sprint, and now I am delighted to tell you we have many major milestones behind us and are approaching the home stretch of purchasing the stadium and beginning its renovation.
The University System of Georgia Board of Regents approved on Nov. 9 our purchase of the stadium site from the Georgia State University Foundation, a critical step as we approach closing on the property in late December. We are
extremely grateful to the Board of Regents for its support of this transformative project.
You’ll recall that Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced in August the Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority’s sale of Turner Field and nearby parking lots to the Foundation, a total of 68 acres, for $30 million. The Board of Regents’ action approved the university’s purchase of 38 acres of the site, including the stadium, from the Foundation for $22.8 million.
The regents also approved two renovation projects at the stadium, one for football and the other for academic purposes. Georgia State is purchasing and redeveloping the site with institutional funds and fundraising from private sources. No taxpayer dollars or new student fees will be used in the purchase, nor will we be taking on any debt obligations.
We have begun the competitive bid process for the first phase of the renovation of the stadium for football, with the expectation that work will begin early next year. Our plan is to play football in a new Georgia State stadium next fall.
In addition to football, we are planning to use the stadium as a venue for commencements, concerts and other events that will benefit our community and the city. On the academic side, we are planning to move portions of the Cecil B. Day School of Hospitality to the site, providing our faculty and students access to commercial kitchens and other facilities that will elevate the hospitality curriculum.
We also are working with Carter and Associates, to whom the Foundation will sell and lease the remaining acres around this stadium. Carter will develop residential, retail and corporate facilities. We and Carter are working with the leaders of the Neighborhood Planning Unit to assure the best use of this transformative site.
Our purchase of the iconic Turner Field site is another visible manifestation of Georgia State’s commitment to and engagement in the growth and redevelopment of Atlanta. As a major urban research university in the heart of our city we recognize that our plans and projects have an impact well beyond our campus. We are already frequently referred to as “the university that saved downtown.”
The stadium, situated prominently aside Atlanta’s major thoroughfares, will be the latest symbol of how we are breathing new life and vitality into portions of the city that have been underused for too long.
Mark P. Becker