The site selection process for the Atlanta Falcon’s new stadium appears to be coming to a close. City, state and team officials were able to reach an agreement with two historic Atlanta churches that will allow for commercial construction to begin on the preferred south site in April 2014. Mount Vernon Baptist Church located at 441 Martin Luther King Dr. agreed to a $14.5 million dollar offer to purchase their property and Friendship Baptist Church located at 437 Mitchell St SW agreed to relocate for $19.5 million. The agreements will allow the new stadium to be built between two MARTA stations and will be in close proximity to the Georgia World Conference Center.
Kansas City-based 360 Architecture, led by project manager Bill Johnson, recently completed conceptual design. “The conceptual design phase of the new stadium project has been a dynamic, interactive and collaborative process,” said Falcons President & CEO Rich McKay. “Our discussions and decisions have focused on creating an iconic asset for the city and state, a great game day experience for our fans and attendees of other events that will be held in the new stadium, and a connection with the surrounding communities. We look forward to moving into the more detailed design phase with our great partners at 360 Architecture and their recently-selected joint venture partners.” The schematic design phase is currently underway and will begin to further develop the approved concept. The design team will also include three Atlanta-based firms to share their knowledge of downtown Atlanta. The three firms are Goode Van Slyke Architecture, Stanley Beaman & Sears, and tvsdesign. Preliminary schematic designs will be submitted by October 31, 2013, and final designs are expected to be completed by early second quarter 2014.
Construction will be completed by a team of experienced companies working together in a massive joint venture. The project will be led by Atlanta-based Holder Construction Company. Holder is the managing partner of a joint venture first formed with Hunt Construction Group as part of the bid process, and recently expanded to include H.J. Russell & Company and C.D. Moody Construction Company. “This joint venture is a strong combination, as proven by the group’s collective work history,” McKay said. This team will play a vital role during the design stages including development, budgeting, permitting and scheduling. Holder Construction has 53 years’ experience working on some of the largest development projects in the Atlanta market. Hunt has constructed 90 stadiums and arenas, including 12 NFL stadiums and six of the nine retractable roof stadiums in the United States. Hunt also completed the world’s first LEED Certified retractable roof stadium at Marlins Park in Miami. H.J. Russell & Company and C.D. Moody Construction Company were selected for the joint venture based on their extensive experience and knowledge of the Atlanta market, experience in large joint ventures, and relationships with local and national minority contractors. The Falcons, GWCC and contractor must agree to a guaranteed maximum price by June 30, 2014.
The $1 billion stadium will be financed with both public and private funding. Approximately 20 to 30 percent of funding will come from the existing hotel/motel tax. This is the same tax used to fund the Georgia Dome. This is a common method for sports related project funding as a portion of lodging taxes are eligible for or used for sports facilities in San Francisco, Denver, Tampa, Chicago, Indianapolis, New Orleans, Kansas City, Pittsburgh, Dallas, San Antonio, and Milwaukee. The remaining 70 to 80 percent will come from private funding with the Falcons being responsible for any cost overruns. The NFL is also providing $200 million as part of their G-4 Financing Model which teams pay back based on revenue generated from premium seating. Many of the stadiums built with G-4 financing use personal seat licenses (PSL), which provides a season ticket holder the right to buy season tickets for certain seat within a stadium. Owner Arthur Blank told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution, “We’ll have a PSL program, but it will be a much more modest program than some other franchises have done.”
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