Deadline looms for Falcons stadium decision

6:04 PM, Jul 29, 2013   |    comments
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Artist rendering of possible look for new Atlanta Falcons stadium

ATLANTA- A N.W. Atlanta church is "getting closer" to a deal that would put a new Falcons stadium south of the Georgia Dome.

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Lloyd Hawk, Chairman of the Board of Trustees with Friendship Baptist Church, said Monday that negations with the city of Atlanta are progressing.

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"We don't reveal details of negotiations, but we're getting closer," said Hawk. "I don't think we're very far apart."

The city and Georgia World Congress Center would prefer to locate the Falcons new $1 billion stadium on 18 acres of property where the Georgia Dome and two churches now sit.

In June, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said the city offered Friendship Baptist $15.5 million for their property, but the church wanted $24.5 million.

There is no word on the World Congress Center's negotiations with Mt. Vernon Baptist.

The city is facing an August 1st deadline to settle with the churches, or focus on another location.

Meanwhile, the World Congress Center board will vote Tuesday on whether or not to go ahead with soil studies and other sight surveys on an alternate site north of the dome.

The Falcons are looking at 19 acres off Ivan Allen Boulevard as plan B if negotiations with the churches are not successful.

Neighborhood groups have protested that the northern site makes no sense.

"When you have MARTA a half mile away, you have a problem," said Mike Koblentz of the NW Community Alliance. "Stadiums aren't doing this. The better ones are locating near access to mass transit."

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