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Atlanta Mayor: Deal in place to purchase second church for Falcon stadium

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Updated: 9/13/2013 10:13 am
ATLANTA, Ga. (WSB-TV) -- An offer is on the table to put the new Falcons stadium south of the Georgia Dome, next to the Vine City MARTA station.

Channel 2 Action News first reported Wednesday that the City of Atlanta offered Mt. Vernon Baptist Church nearly $15 million to move and a place to rebuild at a Vine City park.

Channel 2's John Bachman talked exclusively with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed at a public appearance on Georgia State University's campus Thursday, who confirmed the new offer.

The city has already offered $19.5 million to buy Friendship Baptist Church.

However, plans to put the new stadium on the South site fell through when Mt. Vernon rejected a $6.2 million offer.

Now, as the mayor confirmed for Channel 2 Action News, the city has upped that offer to $14.5 million.

"My understanding is that their leadership has the offer. Their response has been favorable," Reed said.

Bachman asked Reed about the city's offer of $14.5 million to Mt. Vernon Baptist Church. The mayor and his staff have been working to put a deal together that would allow the new Falcons stadium to go south of the Georgia Dome, next to MARTA. However, they're running out of time.

"Fortunately, Mr. Blank and Falcons Organizaion support this concept, but we do have a construction schedule to meet. So, I think we have a good compromise right now, as long as we're able to come to an agreement in a very short fashion, I think we'll be able to get a deal done on the South site," Reed said.

Talks with Mt. Vernon stopped when the church rejected $6.2 million from the state, an offer capped by law at the appraisal price.

Now, the mayor has stepped in with an extra $9.3 million. We asked the mayor where he is getting that extra money.

"I'll be happy to share that if we get a deal. I'm not going to have a conversation about where the resources to fund the $14.5 million offer are coming from until the church gives us their decision. I have a sense of where their leadership is, but I never pre-judge a vote because you never know how a vote's going to turn out," Reed said.

The mayor is cautiously optimistic. He said he didn't know when the Mt. Vernon congregation would vote on the offer, but a source close to the negotiations tells Channel 2 Action News that the vote will be next Thursday, Sept. 19.
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The views expressed here do not necessarily represent those of Action News Jacksonville

wishmistress - 9/13/2013 1:38 PM
0 Votes
Looks like one of those paper 'fortune' things that kids make that works with your hands.

RiverRat - 9/13/2013 12:21 PM
1 Vote
There is absolutely nothing wrong with the existing Georgia Dome. I could understand if they were going to move the stadium to a different location for better parking and access but this is right next door. If I were a tax payer in Atlanta I would be furious.
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