The Atlanta Braves on Wednesday released renderings of the proposed $672 million Cobb County stadium as well as a projected $400 million mixed-use development that would accompany it, all set to open in 2017.
“That is a very aggressive timeline,” said Derek Schiller, executive vice president of sales and marketing for the Braves. “It is ambitious, but it is also something that we firmly believe can happen.”
The Braves have an option to buy a 60-acre wooded parcel near the Cumberland Mall from Bethesda, Md.-based B.F. Saul Co.
The open-air stadium would sit on 15 of those 60 acres and be owned by the Cobb-Marietta Coliseum and Exhibit Hall Authority. The $400 million mixed-use development would be built and owned by the Braves on the remaining 45 acres.
One point of access to the stadium is planned for off Cobb Parkway and Circle 75, where a proposed tree-lined street would pass by 700,000 to 1 million square feet of retail, restaurants, residential, hotel and office space leading to the 41,500-seat stadium.
“All the activities would be on that street, including easy access to the restaurants and retail areas that are associated there, all leading ultimately to near behind home plate of the Braves’ stadium location,” Schiller said.
A second entrance is planned for across the street from the Boy Scouts’ Atlanta office at Windy Ridge and Circle 75 parkways.
A third entrance features a walking bridge spanning Interstate 285 that would connect the stadium site with the Cobb Galleria Centre. That bridge would be open to a Disney-type tram that would bring people from their cars parked around the Cumberland area to the stadium.
“Because it has easy access to the thousands of spaces that are over in the Cobb Galleria area, we would be combining those spaces in our site, working with them to have those spaces in the pedestrian bridge as part of the project which links those very important parking spaces to the Braves’ proposed new stadium location,” Schiller said.
Schiller estimates about 2,000 parking spaces are planned under the stadium in addition to 4,000 placed around the 60-acre site.
The Braves or their development partners brought into the deal would pay for 100 percent of the 45-acre development, Schiller said.
“We are going to start sending out some requests for proposals once the stadium deal has been finalized, so sometime shortly after Nov. 26, presumably, we will send out an RFP that will cover the development of the mixed-use phase,” he said. “We will then determine whether or not we are going to partner with anybody, but I would just say that the Braves are highly optimistic about the success of the development.”
The $400 million development is projected to yield yearly revenues of about $6 million in property taxes with more than $3 million for the Cobb School District.
Commissioner JoAnn Birrell described the proposal by saying, “Wow. I’m impressed. It’s huge. It’s big.”
Birrell said many residents are confused about the Board of Commissioners being an entirely separate taxing agency from the Cobb School District.
“Even though the two are separate and we’re investing our tax money into this, the schools are not, but they are reaping the benefit from the sales tax and the property tax,” Birrell said.
No strip clubs
The entertainment planned for the mixed-use development will not feature strip clubs.
“Any reference to entertainment district that might be on this are referring to restaurants and retail locations for the purpose of our very family-friendly audience and for the purpose of an enhanced fan experience of Braves’ game attendees,” Schiller said.
The MDJ asked Schiller if would be pleased with anything less than a unanimous vote when the Board of Commissioners votes on the deal Tuesday.
“We’re confident that the project will be approved and very excited about working with Cobb County, we believe that this is a very fair deal for everybody involved, and we’ve worked very hard with Cobb County and the Cobb County Commissioners to make sure that this is in the best interest of everybody, and we’re excited about bringing the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County and look forward to Nov. 26,” he said.
County Chairman Tim Lee has predicted a unanimous vote by the board Tuesday.
“I’m ecstatic about it,” Lee said of the plan. “It’s the development of the future, so to speak; it’s a walkable, work, live, play environment that I think is going to be very conducive to just a terrific family entertainment experience.”
Get the details in the PDF files on the page.