A deadline to buy two churches on the stadium’s preferred site is just over a week away, and no deal with the congregations has been reached.
A Georgia World Congress Center Authority committee will vote Wednesday on a measure involving the second site, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
The committee plans to decide whether to ask the state to give the Falcons permission to begin “due diligence work” on the alternative site to determine whether it’s suitable to build the $1 billion stadium. That site is a half-mile north of the Georgia Dome.
Officials continue to negotiate with the churches near the preferred site, south of the Georgia Dome.
An Aug. 1 deadline looms for reaching a deal with Mount Vernon Baptist and Friendship Baptist churches to build on the preferred site just south of the Dome. But the Falcons said Tuesday the development does not mean negotiations with the churches have been abandoned.
“I would characterize this move as being one of prudence,” said Kim Shreckengost, executive vice president of AMB Group, the Falcons’ parent company. “We felt it was in our best interests and consistent with the agreement with the (GWCCA) to go ahead and start looking at the north site.”
The Falcons originally favored the north site, near the intersection of Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Jr. Boulevard. But the state and city preferred the south location near Northside and Martin Luther King Jr. Drive, and the Falcons consented.
Both churches have been prominent in Atlanta history.
The late Mayor Maynard Jackson’s father once preached at Friendship Baptist, a congregation which dates to the early days of the American Civil War.
When Friendship Baptist formally organized in 1866, members say it became Atlanta’s first independent black Baptist congregation. Without any property of their own, congregants initially worshipped in a train boxcar shipped in from Tennessee.
Morehouse College housed classes in the congregation in 1879 and Spelman began in the church’s basement two years later.