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new Falcons stadium

New Atlanta Falcons stadium costs rise up to $1.5 billion

Atlanta Falcons owner Arthur Blank does not know how to say “No,” and that is costing him another $100 million.

During a panel discussion at the Rotary Club of Atlanta Monday on the rejuvenation of the westside neighborhoods, Blank let it slip out that we view the “$1.5 billion stadium” as an incredible investment.

Dreams of jobs training hit reality; Atlanta vows it won’t surrender

Less than 10 percent of those who applied for a job-training program initiated by Falcons team owner Arthur Blank passed the drug test required for acceptance to the program, according to Atlanta City Councilmember Ivory L. Young, Jr.

Young cited the figure to illustrate the challenge of job training for individuals who have troubles past or present. Of 160 applicants, 18 were accepted, he said.

Proctor Creek area, other Atlanta brownfields, to be assessed by city

Atlanta is about to embark on another assessment of brownfields that are located in strategic locations the city seeks to prime for redevelopment.

The first site on the list is the Proctor Creek watershed area. The new Falcons stadium is in the Proctor Creek basin, which also encompasses a portion of a planned $30 million urban renewal program to be funded by Atlanta and the Arthur M. Blank Family Foundation.

The city has allocated $392,000 for the project. Proposals are due Nov. 5. The first report is due April 30, 2015 and the federal funding for the project expires Sept. 30, 2016, according to the request for proposals.

Stadium update: Opponents of city bonds say they are weighing options to appeal first ruling in city’s favor

Atlanta has won the first round of the legal fight over its authority to issue more than $278 million in bonds for the future Falcons stadium.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville ruled last week in the city’s favor. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed’s office issued a statement saying the mayor was “pleased” with the outcome.

However, the city cannot issue any bonds during the 30-day period during which the opponents can appeal the court ruling. Opponents said Sunday they are weighing their options and previously have said they would appeal an unfavorable ruling. They already have delayed a sale that was on a fast track in February.

Fulton County ramps up West Nile virus program; two hotspots are located near future Falcons stadium

Fulton County is seeking to hire a company to combat the West Nile virus and will continue to target two hotspots, Vine City and English Avenue, both of which are near the future Falcons stadium.

Fulton County became aggressive in fighting mosquitoes, which carry the disease, following the death of an elderly Vine City resident in 2001, said Kevin Jones, Fulton County’s deputy director of environmental health services.

“We decided to do everything in our power to make sure that never happens again,” Jones said.

Jack Falls at work on the Olympic Stadium (AJC photo by Joey Ivansco)

Falcons stadium to break ground in May as judge weighs legality of Atlanta’s $200 million funding

The groundbreaking for the future Falcons stadium has been postponed more than a month as the legal battle continues over the $200 million in construction financing to be provided by Atlanta.

The original schedule envisioned the ceremony would place the last week of March. Now the target is an unspecified date in May, according to a report on Bloomberg.com. It’s unclear if the delay is related to the court case.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Ural Glanville said he expects to rule on the case no earlier than April 21.

Falcons stadium: Land acquisition, connectivity report on neighborhoods await action by Atlanta City Council

The Atlanta City Council is slated to cast a series of votes Monday that may resolve a bit of the uncertainty surrounding the planned Falcons stadium.

But no matter how the council votes, significant issues remain unresolved. Construction funding for the $1.1 billion stadium remains subject to a legal challenge that could derail the project. In addition, the council just this weekend received a highly anticipated report from Mike Dobbins that address issues of connectivity and community regarding the stadium site.

bike share

Transportation update: GRTA’s acting director, MARTA reorg on hold, Atlanta’s transportation planning

Some degree of clarity is emerging in metro Atlanta’s cauldron of transportation planners, managers, and planning.

GRTA Executive Director Jannine Miller visited the Capitol Thursday to say her goodbyes to lawmakers and introduce them to Kirk Fjelstul, her deputy director who was named by GRTA’s board as acting director. Down Mitchell Street from the Capitol, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed remains without a transportation planning director as the city tries to figure out how to realign Martin Luther King Jr. Drive around the future Falcons stadium and implement its bike share program.

Atlanta’s latest plan for MLK Drive: Shift vehicles onto a two-lane street

Atlanta now is proposing to reroute traffic west of the Falcons stadium from Martin Luther King Jr. Drive to a two-lane residential street that has curbside parking.

The Parsons Brinckerfhoff engineering firm designed this solution to the closure of the MLK viaduct. The proposal would create a seamless MLK Drive corridor, Richard Mendoza, the city’s public works commissioner, said Wednesday during a work session convened by the Atlanta City Council’s Utilities Committee.

Falcons can cancel stadium deal Sept. 30 if Atlanta doesn’t provide $200 million, Herndon Homes parking

Terms of the deal for the Falcons stadium underscore the risks inherent in a delay in Atlanta’s sale of the bonds to fund the stadium, even as the Atlanta City Council appears to be in no rush to abandon land the state seeks for the stadium.

The Falcons can terminate the deal if Atlanta hasn’t sold bonds and deposited into the appropriate account at least $200 million by Sept. 30. The Falcons can back out if the former Herndon Homes public housing site isn’t made available for surface parking. There seems to be no mention of what happens if Atlanta declines to abandon its property.