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Atlanta United Calls Off Memorial Drive Development

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Earlier this year, the Atlanta United Football Club announced a massive headquarters and practice facility for the soccer team that would be located at the eastern edge of the Perimeter. Met with great fanfare, the development sparked hope that the long-neglected segment of Memorial Drive was destined for greatness. While the plans — including tax breaks and county-funded site preparation — made some community members upset, it seemed the neighborhood was finally going to get some development love. Late Friday, officials announced that the soccer team will no longer be building their complex in DeKalb County, opting instead for a complex on 32 acres in Marietta near Dobbins Air Reserve Base. Despite the fancy renderings, the DeKalb facility apparently hit a few significant snags.

According to Rich McKay, president and CEO of the Atlanta Falcons, the 41-acre site in DeKalb became unfeasible after the results of environmental and geotechnical studies came back. The Atlanta Business Chronicle quotes McKay as saying costs to remediate the site "would have been in excess of $20 million." To comply with the agreement drafted with the county during the summer, DeKalb would have been on the hook for the added costs. Atlanta United's contribution to the development was only intended to be $35 million for the first phase and $51 million for the second. For the county and taxpayers, the economics of the deal just couldn't work out.

But all hope is not lost for the eastern end of the ITP Memorial Drive corridor ... In the last few months a proposal to redevelop a large swath of land adjacent to the Kensington MARTA Station featuring the adaptive-reuse of the DeKalb County Jail was announced.

· Atlanta United could Build True Soccer Complex in DeKalb [Curbed Atlanta]
· Despite Detractors, DeKalb Approves Atlanta United Facility [Curbed Atlanta]