The end for The Ted is nigh. And the beginning of whatever shall come next has officially commenced. The Atlanta Fulton County Recreation Authority, which maintains public facilities like Turner Field, Zoo Atlanta and Philips Arena, released a Request for Proposals (RFP) on Friday, opening the doors for new development after the Braves franchise leaves for Cobb County, the AJC reports. While the haste of this initial step isn't pleasing everybody, the call for developer ideas sounds like an attempt to make all stakeholders happy in the long run.
The speed at which the city released the RFP has drawn the ire of local residents, who have been extremely vocal about the importance of including community voices in the redevelopment process. Those activists, which rallied together as the Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition, have been especially adamant about the importance of completing a Livable Centers Initiative study before bids are accepted.
Despite locals requests, the AFCRA has moved on with the bid process, citing time as a contributing factor. AFCRA Director Keisha Lance Bottoms has said many times, now, that without a concrete proposal the space will remain vacant and upkeep will fall on the shoulders of city staff instead of the Braves organization.
In an attempt to honor community members, adherence to the LCI and its eventual recommendations are listed as a core part of the RFP. The request also asks that developers:
- renovate, reuse or repurpose the Turner Field Stadium (or, provide an "iconic" replacement), and ...
- develop the surrounding area with new retail, an affordable housing component, green space and some sort of commemoration of the area's sports history.
While no guarantees of meeting community requests have been made (unless you count the mayor's promises), the majority of the proposal is focused on expanding quality of life in the area through new jobs, affordable living and improved transportation. It's to the point that a vision incorporating those ideas is weighted more heavily in the selection metric than contractor qualifications or financial capacity.
Developers can't exactly dillydally with this. All bids for the site are due by Nov. 20. After a bid is accepted, the proposal will go through a draft process to incorporate all points in the request. In other words, it's about to get real.
— By Curbed contributor Jason Flynn
· Bidding begins for Turner Field [AJC]
· Stadium neighborhood residents ask Reed to follow community's lead in Turner Field redevelopment [CL]
· At tense meeting, details of Turner Field future sale revealed [AJC]
· Turner Field Redevelopment [RFP]