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Turner Field development could be spilling into surrounding neighborhoods

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Long-vacant commercial spaces could see tenants under new land deal

It was just last month that the Braves played their last game at Turner Field, marking the end of 50 years of MLB action in Summerhill. While the site is quiet now, it won’t be for long.

Starting next year, (seemingly) frantic work will begin to prepare the former baseball stadium for the arrival of Georgia State University athletics. That redevelopment — coupled with private development of the surrounding parking lots — could have a major impact on the adjacent neighborhoods beyond just the old stadium sites.

Now, the Carter-led development team is hoping to acquire five additional acres of property, totaling more than 40 parcels, to continue the redevelopment trend down Georgia Avenue toward Grant Park. According to the Atlanta Business Chronicle, sources close to the developer indicate a deal could happen soon.

The deal would include a collection of vacant old structures that have been little more than canvases for colorful street murals in recent years. Assuming the buildings are structurally viable, they could be rehabbed into a charming commercial node. As Atlanta magazine reported in 2013, the strip used to be a bustling place and showed brief signs of life again as some buildings were rehabbed prior to the 1996 Olympics.

The move is significant, as neighbors have expressed concerns over the impact of the development on surrounding communities and having their input counted. WABE reports that the sale of the commercial tracts of land could precipitate development of a vibrant corridor linking the Georgia State development to Grant Park.

For communities decimated more than five decades ago, the sale could either be seen as a positive — that Carter is planning to revitalize the neighborhood — or a negative — that development may soon push out longtime residents as land is gobbled up.

Time will tell.