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 Post subject: Church wants $24.5 million from Falcons for new stadium
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 5:43 pm 
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Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new stadium site

By Jason Kirk on Jun 21 2013, 11:04a  @JasonKirkSBN 24
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This definitely does not look like a church. - Atlanta Falcons

Two historic Atlanta churches find themselves with quite a bit of real estate bargaining power. They occupy land the ambitious local NFL franchise wants.

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The biggest issue facing the Atlanta Falcons' eye-popping new football stadium: whether to build it just north of the current Georgia Dome, which would mean greater distance from hotels, the airport, transit, and the city's skyline, or just south, which would mean buying the land presently occupied by a pair of historic churches.

The team prefers the south site. Those churches also prefer the south site. Friendship Baptist, established in 1866 and the wellspring for both Morehouse and Spelman colleges, has rejected the city's offer of $13.5 million for the property, asking for nearly double that. Mayor Kasim Reed told 11 Alive he's upped the offer by $2 million. Meanwhile, the state is negotiating with Martin Luther King Drive's Mount Vernon Baptist.

While the houses of worship could stand to collect windfalls (the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the combined land is worth just more than $2.2 million), they are of course not governed strictly by financials:

"I don't think [money] should even enter our decision-making. I really don't," said [Friendship] parishioner Juanita Jones Abernathy, whose late husband [Ralph David Abernathy] was a confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "It's a landmark. I think it should remain. It's been there for generations, and it needs to be there for generations to come."

Considering Mt. Vernon Baptist's real estate is worth an amount similar to Friendship Baptist's, it could cost the city and state significantly more than $30 million to secure the land, which could raise the public cost of the stadium beyond the $200 million for which it's on the hook. A $30 million price tag would amount to 3.7 percent of the $800 million the team's committed to building the facility, and it wouldn't include the $50 million Arthur Blank's setting aside for undetermined neighborhood improvements as a part of the overhaul.

Can the Falcons show the city and state it's worth that much money to play a few blocks south? I don't know. I'm imagining the kind of church one could build with $20 million in one's pocket, but luckily, it's not my decision to make.

The Falcons stadium deal is, as far as stadium deals with public components go, a relatively good one for its city. That $200 million was earmarked for tourism anyway, and it's been argued that an even bigger public number would need to be spent in order to maintain the apparently far-more-aged-than-the-human-mind-can-fathom Georgia Dome. Land acquisition fees from the public's trusts will never be popular, though at least they'd be going to longtime local institutions and not some corporation, right?

The parties have until Aug. 1 to reach an accord. If none is found, the hemisphere's boldest stadium will be built just north of the team's current house.

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 6:00 pm 
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What's more important, history, or the future? No offense intended to anyone, but if someone offers you 13 million for a 2 million dollar property, you take it, and laugh all the way to the bank. For that amount of money, they could build a new building just about anywhere in Atlanta, and upgrade their facilities beyond anything they could have previously hoped for.

If they are concerned about the history aspect of things, work out an arrangement with the Falcons to have a section in the building which recognizes the churches and the history associated with them. I'm sure that Arthur Blank would view something like that as positive PR.


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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 7:12 pm 
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Or you could hold out for more $$, forcing the Falcons to balk and build their stadium at the less ideal site as a personal F U to the project. :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Mon Jun 24, 2013 9:24 pm 
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If the church is deciding to do a personal FU to the project, they obviously don't have their congregation's best interests in mind.


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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 1:37 am 
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Quote:

"I don't think [money] should even enter our decision-making. I really don't," said [Friendship] parishioner Juanita Jones Abernathy, whose late husband [Ralph David Abernathy] was a confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. "It's a landmark. I think it should remain. It's been there for generations, and it needs to be there for generations to come."


I don't think we can know what the congregation wants?? Now I would want the money and the good it could do others. However their could be a legit feeling that they don't want to sell out at any price. If its worth 2.2 million now; I think its taken a lot of willpower not to cash in before now. Some like me would see this as a great opportunity, but some probably see this that (in their minds) the culture and the remembering that they really see it as a landmark!!

Blank is offering a lot, so market price is what Blank is willing to pay and the Church is willing to take?? I don't think there is a right or wrong........Although if Blank wants it in a certain spot he'll pay more IMO.

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 8:20 am 
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You either sell it or you don't. If they think it is more significant that the building remain as is for historical reasons then there should be no discussion of selling it at all. If they are using this as a means to drive up the price they are frauds. In my mind, a church is not a building but I suppose all cultures need their Sacred Cows (and golden calves). R. Abernathy was known to say things that weren't popular and I imagine there are some in this camp that wish Ms. Abernathy would "play ball." This whole stadium deal is just organized crime once removed. Will be interesting to see when it is done what the actual cost will be and whether anyone will ever be able to get verifiable figures.

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Tue Jun 25, 2013 10:39 pm 
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I honestly hope Blank looked them in the eye and said, "I'll have to pray about it." :twisted:

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 9:33 am 
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RobertAP wrote:
What's more important, history, or the future? No offense intended to anyone, but if someone offers you 13 million for a 2 million dollar property, you take it, and laugh all the way to the bank. For that amount of money, they could build a new building just about anywhere in Atlanta, and upgrade their facilities beyond anything they could have previously hoped for.

If they are concerned about the history aspect of things, work out an arrangement with the Falcons to have a section in the building which recognizes the churches and the history associated with them. I'm sure that Arthur Blank would view something like that as positive PR.



I would agree that the church should not use 'leverage', but I am amazed at how the local media has colluded together to paint these churches as not so Holy.

When Union forces burned the city to the ground, the only thing they left were churches. They burned schools. They burned hospitals. They burned factories. BUt they left churches. Some of our local churches are the oldest things left standing.

I said in another thread, F Baptist was created because during Reconstruction, they kicked out all the freed slaves and told them just like the Apostle Paul 'go forth and build your own church'. Which, they did with the 'donation' of a retired train box-car.
So here we are in 2013, and another White Guy wants to 'kick them out' of a place they have been at for generations...


One of the turning points of the Civil Rights era was when Atlanta 'allowed' black police officers to patrol Sweet Auburn Avenue. They culled these guys from 3 churches, one of which was F.B. These were black freemasons, leaders from the local community and the church. This was an important thing, since Sweet Auburn and downtown were typically 'patrolled' by white officers.


Spelman was birthed at F.B. The only way I can see that the Church could come out looking o.k. is this: force the city to pony up 24 mil, acquire some local property and physically move the Church itself, put say 5 mil in the coffers for the church's use, and give the rest to the Atlanta University Center Consortium(Clark,Spelman,Morehouse and MSOM). This would be consitant with the message of the Church and it's role in
history.


But if they just leverage for more $$, and only to aggrandize a new church, then it is despicable and an affront to the Civil Rights movement.

:ninja:

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Wed Jun 26, 2013 7:08 pm 
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Interesting stuff, FG. In fact, much of ATL has burned during the war by the Confederates themselves to deny Union troops the booty they were inevitably going to get. The buildings are significant in a city that has very little of that type of thing. Referring to Blank as "another white guy" in this context is a bit of a cheap shot, IMO. The color at issue is green.

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:45 am 
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http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/morn ... tions.html

Report: Falcons stadium negotiations hit wall (VIDEO)
Friendship Baptist Church is being asked to relocate so that a $1 billion stadium can be built on a preferred site in downtown Atlanta.
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Friendship Baptist Church is being asked to relocate so that a $1 billion stadium can be built on a preferred site in downtown Atlanta.
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Carla Caldwell, Morning Call Editor

Friendship Baptist Church wants a meeting with Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed to discuss selling its property to make way for the new $1 billion Falcons stadium - and more money, but the city doesn’t seem interested in giving the church either, reports Atlanta Business Chronicle broadcast partner WXIA-TV.

Mayor Kasim Reed told the station last week the church wants $24.5 million to move. Reed says that’s simply too much. The city initially offered $13.5 million and later counter offered with $15.5 million, he said.

Lloyd Hawk, the chairman of the board of trustees for the church, wouldn't confirm the numbers, but told the station the city must make a deal that would cover its land and the costs associated with moving. Hawk said his focus is the church’s financial health and the community it serves, not Falcons fans.

"If they feel five or six million dollars makes a difference in a billion dollar project, that's their prerogative," said Hawk.

The preferred site for the new Falcons stadium is just south of the Georgia Dome. But to build there, two black churches — Friendship and Mount Vernon Baptist Church — would have to be relocated.

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 10:46 am 
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http://www.bizjournals.com/atlanta/morn ... avoid.html

City proposes moving MLK Dr. to avoid buying Friendship Baptist
Friendship Baptist Church
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Friendship Baptist Church

Carla Caldwell, Morning Call Editor

In what might be considered a jab, the City of Atlanta has come up with a way to avoid buying Friendship Baptist Church and still get the site it wants for the new $1 billion stadium.

Up until now, the city and the Atlanta Falcons have said they need Friendship Baptist's property in order to build a new stadium on a preferred site south of the Georgia Dome – but now the city has come up with the idea to reroute Martin Luther King Jr. Drive so that the stadium and Friendship will be side-by-side, reports SaportaReport.com.

Maria Saporta reports that in a memo from Duriya Farooqui, the city’s chief operating officer, to Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed, it was clear the city was running out of patience — saying the project is at a “critical stage” and that the design work must be finalized so the project can continue on schedule.

Reed said last week the church wants $24.5 million to move and that the amount is simply too much. The city initially offered $13.5 million and later counter offered with $15.5 million, he said. A church official said the city’s offer is not enough to cover purchasing land for a new church and costs associated with moving.

Click here to read more about the city's proposal to reroute Martin Luther King Jr. Drive.

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 Post subject: Re: Church wants $24.5 million from Atlanta Falcons for new
PostPosted: Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:41 pm 
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