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Arthur Blank Eyes March Groundbreaking For New Stadium

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After a tempest of historic church controversy and north-versus-south hullabaloo, Arthur Blank seems to have found momentary peace in his quest to erect a new $1 billion Falcons Roost, even as the team itself implodes. Veteran journalist Maria Saporta interviewed Blank at the Four Pillar Award gala honoring John Portman for his architectural contributions to the Big Peach, and Blank delivered an interesting forecast: The official stadium ground-breaking will likely happen the last week in March, adding to an action-packed year for Atlanta's revived construction scene. Blank told Saporta the stadium efforts "are in a really good place" and that he's eager to put contractors to work. "We are really excited about the south site," he told Saporta. "It feels good to get the site solidified."

In the months between now and March, as the Dirty Birds lick their wounds and try to salvage a respectable season, Blank said architects and engineers will be working on final designs and construction documents for the project, as the state acquires a few ancillary but necessary pieces of property. The last remaining pieces will come either through negotiations or condemnation, Saporta reports.

Blank seemed a tad peeved it had taken so long to reach this point. In lengthy negotiations that made national news, though, two historic black churches stood up to the state, city and powerful NFL franchise and got paid handsomely. But those deals weren't solidified until Sept. 22, nearly two months beyond the official Aug. 1 deadline for an official site selection.

· Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank said new $1 billion stadium development is 'in a really good place' [Saporta Report]
· Latest stadium glimpses [New Atlanta Stadium]