It appears the Atlanta Falcons' new stadium (slash origami-Battlebot-Transformer-deathflower) is headed for the so-called "North Site," sparing the pair of old churches it would have to demolish to build on its preferred spot. As pretty much every news outlet ended up reporting, the Falcons sent a letter to the Georgia World Congress Center Authority on Tuesday, calling the much-desired South Site for the new $1 billion stadium — at MLK and Northside Drive, near the not-so decrepit 21-year-old Georgia Dome — "not feasible at this time." As for logic, the letter says land not yet acquired from the pair of historical Baptist churches (Mount Vernon and Friendship) stands in the way of the preferred lot, with its valuable proximity to the convention center and two MARTA stations. August 1 (i.e., Thursday) had been the previously agreed upon deadline for deciding the South Site's feasibility.
While the Atlanta Business Chronicle did report that church officials claimed to still be in talks with the Falcons, and that the GWCAA had submitted a final offer Tuesday to Mount Vernon, convention center officials voted Tuesday to "provide access to the north site property for due diligence work." Unless this is all an elaborate bluff, it likely means the team's new nest will be built about a half-mile north at the corner between Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd., Northside Drive and Marietta Street.
But nothing's set in stone yet: That site apparently has contaminated soil and "high intensity transmission lines" that would need to be relocated. If all that proves too much to deal with, the stadium could, theoretically, end up back on the south site — if the team ever reaches an agreement with the churches. Here's hoping we avoid a total snafu.
— By Curbed Atlanta contributor Tyler Estep