Turner Field area residents unveil their wish list for redevelopment

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to provided the latest version of the community survey results.

By David Pendered

A neighborhood coalition on Monday released its wish list for the redevelopment of Turner Field. Some of the desires could be accommodated by plans of a development team named by the city to redevelop Turner Field – if traffic congestion can be managed.

Turner Field

A community survey shows little support for reusing Turner Field as a sports or events venue after the Braves depart. File/Credit: Maria Saporta

Traffic congestion was the No. 1 concern cited by respondents when asked their thoughts if Turner Field continues to serve as a sports or major events venue.

That said, there’s not much appetite in the neighborhood for reusing the stadium. Just 35 percent think it should be reused; 22 percent think it should be demolished.

Survey results were released three weeks after Atlanta named a preferred bidder to redevelop Turner Field and about 70 surrounding acres. Turner Field Community Benefits Coalition initiated the survey by Sycamore Consulting before Atlanta announced it had selected a preferred bidder.

The development team consists of Georgia State University, Carter, and Oakwood LLC. Negotiations between the city and development team likely are underway.

Their plan envisions a football stadium at Turner Field and a baseball stadium at the site of the former Braves stadium. The prior stadium  was demolished for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games. Plans call for residential and student housing and an array of retail.

This section of the survey results address the traffic concerns voiced by residents:

  • “Event-day traffic and congestion has always been a concern of residents. When asked what would concern people most if the Turner Field Stadium is reused as an athletic or major event venue, traffic and congestion ranked higher than all other response options, combined. Residents would like to see an improved traffic plan in the future that would allow them to easily access their residences when events are in progress.”
Turner Field redevelopment, residents wish list

A survey of residents in the Turner Field neighborhood shows strong support that the redevelopment provide a host of businesses that provide basic goods ans services, such as food and haircuts. Credit: Turner Field Community Survey Report

The survey portrays the redevelopment of Turner Field as a, “unique opportunity.” The bottom line is a shared desire for a, “well integrated, mixed use development.”

The survey results ranked residents’ desires. This is the outcome:

  • “More: Grocery stores, restaurants & neighborhood businesses;
  • “Same: Hotels, retirement housing & attached housing (like townhomes);
  • “Fewer: Big box stores, subsidized housing & hotels.”

Other responses include:

  • “New development should support and blend in with the surrounding neighborhoods;
  • “The area should be used for mixed use development;
  • “There is low level of support for a casino or office space;
  • “Having a safe place to live is a very important neighborhood quality;
  • “The community needs more neighborhood businesses, restaurants, and a grocery store;
  • “Sidewalks, access to transit and ease of travel outside of the neighborhood are important transportation issues.”

Sycamore Consulting was formed in 1996. The Decatur-based, female-owned firm has a client list that includes MARTA, Georgia Department of Transportation, and the Atlanta Regional Commission. The cities of Decatur, Roswell and Milton are on the list.

Funding for the survey was provided by the SMP Community Fund. Additional support was provided by the Annie E. Casey Foundation and two Atlanta City councilmembers – Carla Smith and Andre Dickens.

The survey covered 1,783 adults from Oct. 26 through Nov. 21, 2015. The survey was conducted via door-to-door visits, online, and hard-copy surveys. The margin of error is plus/minus 5 percent at the 95 percent confidence level.

Turner Field development, residents

This chart ranks concerns raised by respondents of the Turner Field Community Survey. Credit: Turner Field Community Survey Report

 

David Pendered, Managing Editor, is an Atlanta journalist with more than 30 years experience reporting on the region’s urban affairs, from Atlanta City Hall to the state Capitol. Since 2008, he has written for print and digital publications, and advised on media and governmental affairs. Previously, he spent more than 26 years with The Atlanta Journal-Constitution and won awards for his coverage of schools and urban development. David graduated from North Carolina State University and was a Western Knight Center Fellow. David was born in Pennsylvania, grew up in North Carolina and is married to a fifth-generation Atlantan.

5 replies
  1. Maynard Eaton says:

    Good story as always my friend, but I strongly suggest you talk with an area power broker and longtime community activist/investor.  She is Janis Ware, the publisher of the iconic Atlanta Voice newspaper enterprise –two blocks from Turner Field – and longtime president of SUMMECH Corp.  Janis has just secured millions to develop affordable housing in the Turner Field community, and is not necessarily a fan of the proposed Georgia State University plans for the community.  She deserves to be heard my friend.Report

    Reply
  2. Maynard Eaton says:

    Good story as always David, but I strongly suggest you talk with an area power broker and longtime community activist/investor. She is Janis Ware, the publisher of the iconic Atlanta Voice newspaper enterprise –two blocks from Turner Field – and longtime president of SUMMECH Corp. Janis has just strategically and successfully secured millions to develop affordable housing in the Turner Field community, and is not necessarily a fan of the proposed Georgia State University plans for the community. She deserves to be heard my friend.Report

    Reply

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