“It was probably 3 o’clock that I was notified that our money transferred into their accounts from the escrow accounts,” Plant said. “We’re not turning back. We start paying our taxes at 3 o’clock today.”
The Braves agreed to pay Bethesda, Md.-based B.F. Saul Co. about $34 million for the 57.1-acre site. The franchise will close on another 25-acre property with the same company by early May.
“So that takes us to 82 (acres), and we don’t need to do any activity or work on those acres. Fortunately, the seller and us, we worked that out months ago to have a different
closing day for that,” he said.
Atlanta Braves president John Schuerholz walked the property with county Chairman Tim Lee on Tuesday.
“I think it’s the absolute perfect site,” Schuerholz said. “I mean, we could have looked forever and ever and not found a site any better than we found, and very fortunate for us and our fans that this site was available, and it’s going to be developed into the finest stadium and mixed-use location in all of Georgia.”
In addition to the $672 million stadium of which the county has agreed to pay $300 million, the Braves are building a $400 million mixed-use development around it made up of shops and restaurants.
Next week, the Braves plan to announce who they have selected as the stadium designer and architect.
Plant said his next step is to relocate two pipelines that run through the 57-acre property. Colonial Pipeline has one line spanning from New England to Louisiana that runs through the middle of the property. Atlanta Gas has another. It will take several months to relocate them to the edge of the property. While the pipelines run under Interstate 285 and can be paved over with roads or sidewalks, vertical construction is prohibitive because the lines need to be accessible, Plant said.
“I think it just continues to confirm and solidify that we’re excited in coming to be certainly a significant contributor and economic driver and job creator and certainly hopefully quality of life inspirational opportunity by bringing the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County. We’re coming,” Plant said.
Lee called the closing a significant milestone since it allows the Braves to move forward with applying for a land disturbance permit.
“For those people that weren’t sure if it really was going through the fact that they bought that acreage should be a pretty strong indicator that this is actually happening and moving forward,” Lee said. “Cobb is now the new home of the Atlanta Braves.”
Lee attended the Special Olympics opening ceremony Friday evening in Marietta where he said radio talk show host Moby announced to the crowd, “‘Welcome to Cobb County, the new home of the Atlanta Braves,’ and the place just roared, just roared,” Lee said. “It’s a very high buzz. Wherever I go, people are talking about it and are overwhelmingly supportive of it.”