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 Post subject: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium land
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 5:11 pm 
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http://onlineathens.com/breaking-news/2 ... nouncement

Mayor: Atlanta has partial deal for new Falcons stadium land
By Ray Henry, Associated Press – updated Tuesday, August 6, 2013 - 1:25pm

ATLANTA — Atlanta officials have reached a $19.5 million preliminary deal to buy the property of one of two churches needed to build a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday.

The agreement to buy Friendship Baptist Church amounts to a partial victory for stadium supporters. To complete the deal, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority would still need to reach an agreement with a separate church, Mount Vernon Baptist Church. Those talks broke down recently. Afterward, the state authority said it would explore a different site north of the current Georgia Dome.

Reed wants the stadium built on a site south of the existing stadium. The Democratic mayor said in a news conference that the originally proposed site would be better served by public transportation, alleviating game day traffic jams in the city. Reed said that he asked former Atlanta Mayor Andrew Young to serve as an intermediary to help relaunch talks between the state agency and Mount Vernon.

"For us to impose an artificial deadline when a significant part of this transaction has been closed, the hardest part, I think does not make sense," Reed said. "We can walk and chew gum at the same."

Congress Center spokeswoman Jennifer LeMaster did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

Documents released to the media by the center show it broke off negotiations after Mount Vernon rejected a $6.2 million offer. The church's attorney told state officials that he understood the government could not offer more money than the appraised value of the church's property. The attorney suggested that the state agency or the Falcons find money to supplement their offer.

Reed told reporters that he understood the legal restrictions. "But that doesn't mean we shouldn't try to figure this out as a community," Reed said.

Friendship church, established in 1862, first met in a donated boxcar that doubled as a space for worship and a classroom for Atlanta University. After it moved to Atlanta, Morehouse College set up classes at the church. Spelman College started in its basement.

Lloyd Hawk, chairman of the church's board of trustees, said the agreement must still be approved by the congregation.

"If we didn't feel there was a benefit to the church and the community, we would have said no eight months ago," he said.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 7:51 pm 
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not big news here, this church was always interested in selling and the money was close with them. The other church is the deal breaker, they want 23 million and are only being offered $6 million. There are laws that prevent the group making the offer from offering more than the property is valued, thus, I think the backup site will end up as the winner. Either way, doesn't matter to me as I'm not close to either.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Tue Aug 06, 2013 11:13 pm 
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The whole thing is a train wreck. The new location is going to suck. The stadium is going to turn into a joke. The price is already outrageous. Give up on Atlanta already. Move the Falcons North. Use your brain Arthur.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 1:04 am 
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Hell, yeah move em north, I can already see it, the Albany NY Falcons :dance: :dance: :dance: :dance: :clap: :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 11:44 am 
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No, I think this is bigger news than you think Dave. The fact is that the deadline for choosing a stadium site was August 1. The Falcons did not make their choice then, and the mayor has basically inserted himself in the process to make sure that the Falcons build on the south site.

It appears that the Powers that Be want the stadium built on the South site, and assuming the other negotiations get done with the other church (which initially broke down, but Reed is telling them to get back at it), then the stadium will proceed as planned.

Coupled with the fact that the EPA basically said the south site was untenable, but yet they are still proceeding with trying to get the south site secured, indicates that the powers that be have no real desire to build at the north site.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Wed Aug 07, 2013 7:57 pm 
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http://www.gpb.org/news/2013/08/07/falc ... ould-fail#

Falcons Stadium Petition Could Fail
By Claire Simms
Updated: 2 hours ago

ATLANTA —
Government watchdog group Common Cause Georgia has until Saturday to collect 35,000 signatures and force a vote on the proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium.(Photo Courtesy of ucumari via Flickr.)
Government watchdog group Common Cause Georgia has until Saturday to collect 35,000 signatures and force a vote on the proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium.(Photo Courtesy of ucumari via Flickr.)
Government watchdog group Common Cause Georgia has until Saturday to collect 35,000 signatures and force a vote on the proposed Atlanta Falcons stadium.

The City of Atlanta announced Tuesday that it had reached a deal to purchase Friendship Baptist Church, which is located on the preferred site for the new facility. The agreed-upon price was $19.5 million.

“That figure definitely raises eyebrows, especially when there is one more church to go even to get there on that site,” said William Perry, Executive Director of Common Cause Georgia. He said the process has lacked transparency. “People just don’t know exactly what the costs are.”

Perry and volunteers from Common Cause have been circulating a petition that would force the city to hold a referendum on the stadium project. That would mean Atlanta voters could choose how their money is spent. So far, Perry said, the group is not sure exactly how many signatures they have collected.

“Quite frankly it’s going to take a miracle to really get us over the top, but we’ll just see what happens,” Perry said. “But we’ve had thousands and thousands of people sign and we haven’t had to ask the questions a lot of times. People are seeking us out at signing locations because they are so fired up about this issue and so I think it’s good to send the message to the city and to the Mayor that people don’t want to pay for this project with public money.”

According to the city, the public portion of the project would be funded by city hotel and motel taxes.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 5:04 am 
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crime

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 12:02 pm 
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Politics has become all about crime. Don't get me started on the criminal activities that the feds are pulling off.


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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Thu Aug 08, 2013 9:44 pm 
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RobertAP wrote:
Politics has become all about crime. Don't get me started on the criminal activities that the feds are pulling off.

Probably always has been....uh, Indian Removal? What? You have a problem with printing money to solve cash flow problems? :lol:

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Fri Aug 09, 2013 12:19 am 
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Quote:

ATLANTA — Atlanta officials have reached a $19.5 million preliminary deal to buy the property of one of two churches needed to build a new stadium for the Atlanta Falcons, Mayor Kasim Reed said Tuesday.


Oh I HOPE THE DEAL GOES THROUGH!! Arthur still doesn't understand he owns a team without a real fan base!! He's going to
lose so much money its going to be ugly; even for Arthur.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Sun Aug 18, 2013 12:54 am 
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http://www.ajc.com/news/news/breaking-n ... at-/nZQ25/

Mount Vernon lowers asking price to $15.5 million for new stadium

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By Katie Leslie

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Mount Vernon Baptist Church has lowered its asking price from $20.4 million to $15.5 million to make way for the new Atlanta Falcons stadium.

The mayor stepped into talks with Mount Vernon after negotiations between the church and Georgia World Congress Center Authority representatives ended in recent weeks over a $14 million impasse. The church rejected the GWCCA’s offer of $6.2 million and asked instead for $20.4 million.

The congregation still must ratify the proposal Reed reached with Pastor Rodney Turner, the mayor said at a Friday press conference.

Reed’s desire to have the retractable roof stadium built on Martin Luther King and Northside drives met with challenges after the Mount Vernon deal stalled and the Atlanta Falcons announced they are studying a location off Northside Drive and Ivan Allen Jr. Blvd. At the time, the Falcons said the two churches key to the south site deal — Mount Vernon and Friendship Baptist Church — had yet to be acquired, thus forcing them to explore the north option.

Reed responded with an Aug. 6 press conference announcing he had negotiated a $19.5 million deal with Friendship Baptist Church on behalf of the Falcons.

This week, Reed and Ambassador Andrew Young, who sits on the board of the Atlanta Falcons, met with Mount Vernon officials

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 8:44 am 
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http://www.politifact.com/georgia/state ... touchdown/

The Truth-O-Meter Says:
Reed
"State law says that once the state appraises a piece of property, they can only pay it a certain amount above appraisal."

Kasim Reed on Wednesday, August 7th, 2013 in an interview
Mayor's stadium claim gets flagged for lack of specifics
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The Atlanta Falcons have been negotiating with state and city leaders on a plan to build a $1 billion stadium in downtown Atlanta. This rendering shows a potential overhead view of the proposed stadium. Bob Andres/AJC

Plans to build a new $1 billion stadium in downtown Atlanta may sound like a project with limitless cash. But there are boundaries concerning what can be spent, according to a key player in the effort.

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed recently took to the radio to discuss the fractured negotiations with Mount Vernon Baptist Church’s leaders to buy its property. The land on which that historic church sits is necessary to build the new sports facility on a preferred site.

State officials have said they cannot offer any more than the highest appraised value it receives, $6.2 million in this case. The church initially said a fair price is about $20 million. But the mayor announced Friday that Mount Vernon has lowered its asking price to $15.5 million.

The mayor said the state, specifically the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which is in charge of negotiations with the church, can only offer a certain amount of money. Reed explained during an Aug. 7 interview with Sports Radio 680 The Fan.

"The state has some limitations on what they can pay above the appraised price. ... We’re not going to be able to pay Mount Vernon $19.5 million because of the constraints that the state has in what they can pay," Reed said on the station’s The Front Row program.

The mayor went into more detail about a minute later during the interview.

"State law says that once the state appraises a piece of property, they can only pay it a certain amount above appraisal," Reed said.

PolitiFact Georgia wondered whether the mayor is correct. Is the state limited on how far it can move the financial goal posts to strike a deal with the church, as the mayor said?

An attorney for Mount Vernon said such limitations may hamper the negotiations.

"You have stated that the Authority is constrained by law and can only offer appraised fair market value for land which it acquires. ... Consequently, unless the Authority is prepared to obtain from private sources sufficient supplemental funds to pay a realistic price for the Church property, I believe further negotiations would not be fruitful," the attorney, Bill Montgomery, wrote in an email to Senior Assistant Attorney General Denise Whiting-Pack.

For those who’ve just joined this saga in progress, the Atlanta Falcons have been working with the city, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority and others on a deal to build a new stadium, replacing the Georgia Dome, which is owned by the state.

The city would prefer to build the new stadium on land south of the Dome in large part because of its accessibility to MARTA rail lines. In order to build on that site the city would need land where two longtime churches stand, Friendship Baptist Church and Mount Vernon. Mount Vernon was established in 1915. Friendship Baptist was established in 1862.

The initial deadline to work out a deal with the churches was Aug. 1. Although the city struck a deal with Friendship Baptist Church, the GWCCA was unable to do so with Mount Vernon. Reed held a news conference Aug. 6 asking all involved to continue the discussions.

The land acquisition process in Georgia seems simple. A state or local agency does research on the property’s value and offers a price. The landowner takes it or leaves it. That’s unless the government really wants the land. In that case the government can buy it whether the property owner wants to sell or not under the powers of eminent domain.

Reed’s communications director, Sonji Jacobs, referred to language in the state constitution to explain the mayor’s point. State Properties Commission spokeswoman Cindy Presto referenced the same language in the constitution -- Article III, Section VI, Paragraph VI(a) -- when we contacted the agency seeking help.

It reads:

"Except as otherwise provided in the Constitution, (1) the General Assembly shall not have the power to grant any donation or gratuity or to forgive any debt or obligation owing to the public, and (2) the General Assembly shall not grant or authorize extra compensation to any public officer, agent, or contractor after the service has been rendered or the contract entered into."

Said Jacobs: "Basically, if the state does not pay appraised value, it could be thought to be providing an unearned benefit which is not allowed under Georgia law. Based on Mayor Reed's long tenure in the Georgia General Assembly (11 years), in his experience, lawmakers have not paid more than 10 percent above appraised value as a matter of custom and practice if they do make an exception due to the furthering of a public purpose."

Jacobs said Monday that Reed had based his statement largely on information from the GWCCA.

The state has referenced this section of the constitution before on a similar topic. In 1995, the Georgia Board of Regents asked the state Attorney General’s Office for guidance on whether it could trade a lease of its land in return for the endowment of a research chair if the endowment equals the fair-market value of the lease. An assistant attorney general cited the clause in a written legal opinion.

The Attorney General’s Office forwarded the opinion to another Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter working on an article about the stadium negotiations in response to the same question we had about whether state law prohibits state agencies from offering more than appraised fair-market value for property acquisition.

"In summary, it is my official opinion that Regents may lease its lands in return for the endowment of a research chair if the endowment is equal to the fair market value of the lease and the term of the lease is reasonable," wrote the assistant attorney general, Cheryl Janson.

PolitiFact Georgia contacted officials within the Georgia Association of Assessing Officials. They were unaware of any state rules limiting purchase price when the government buys land. Private real estate attorneys we contacted were also unaware of any state limits.

"I know of no such restriction, and certainly the public press accounts on this issue do not seem to disclose a public restriction," Hugh Wood, a partner with Wood & Meredith, a law firm that handles real estate litigation, told us in an email.

The Georgia Department of Transportation, which buys as much land as anyone in the state, sent us its booklet on right-of-way acquisitions. The booklet mentions that the state agency cannot offer less that an appraiser’s estimate of the property’s fair-market value. It does not mention whether GDOT can offer more money than the appraisal.

"Keep in mind GDOT policy is regulated ... and other state agencies (GWCC) are not," GDOT spokeswoman Natalie Dale told us via email. "So it’s not really apples to apples. What might bind them may not have an impact on us and vice versa."

Reed’s statement is based on an interpretation of a portion of the Georgia Constitution, purportedly long-held best practices and an almost two-decade-old attorney general’s opinion on property leases. The mayor and others have turned to the opinion and language in the state constitution as case law.

The mayor, however, specifically said this: "State law says that once the state appraises a piece of property, they can only pay it a certain amount above appraisal."

That’s a precise statement. And our research found no laws establishing this limit.

We rated Reed’s claim False.

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Tue Aug 20, 2013 9:16 am 
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what a shocker :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: Atlanta Mayor has partial deal for new Falcons stadium l
PostPosted: Wed Aug 21, 2013 9:38 pm 
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yea and you can get another appraisal. Some appraisal's can be rather cut & dried;
since they're are usually a few comparable properties. In this case, location and the type of structure make it very much more subjective.

It was my understanding you can't pay a penny more than its appraised for; but then like I said this property and its location you can say about what you want. That appears what every bodies doing.

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