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Turner Field exit date leaves neighbors 'optimistic' | News

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Turner Field exit date leaves neighbors 'optimistic'


ATLANTA -- Residents of the Turner Field area say they are optimistic that their community may become more than a college campus once the Braves leave.  This, after the Braves formally turned in their exit date so they can leave by the end of 2016 for Cobb County.

Although Georgia State University has seemingly had the inside track to fill the void the Braves will leave, residents have clamored for development more compatible with the bedroom community they want it to become. The certainty of the Braves exit may enable that, they say.




‘No matter who comes, we’re going to need walkability. We’re going to need commercial. We’re going to need a grocery store,” said Carla Smith, Atlanta city councilwoman from district one.  “We’ll work with whoever comes and works with us.”

But the most prominent proposal to replace Turner Field comes from Georgia State University – which wants to build student housing, and wants to retrofit Turner Field into a football field, plus build a baseball stadium across the street in what’s now a parking lot.  Mayor Kasim Reed has talked up the Georgia State proposal.  But residents are hopeful other competing proposals will get a hearing too.

"I think this is a very exciting opportunity for the mayor to work with our community to collaborate with our community around the redevelopment of "Turner Field," said Alison Johnson of the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition.

And councilwoman Carla Smith says it could include Georgia State downsizing its proposal – leaving more room for housing and neighborhood amenities while eliminating some of the stadium components.

"I think Georgia State just needs to work with us, and they’re trying. So they need to work with us, listen to the community. The community is open to talking to anyone," Smith said Friday.