Mayor: Church lowers asking price in stadium negotiations

Mayor: Church lowers asking price in stadium negotiations

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Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said on Friday that progress has been made in the negotiations to purchase a church that sits on the preferred site of the new Falcons stadium.

Reed said that Mount Vernon Baptist Church is now asking for $15.5 million for its property. The church had been asking for in excess of $20 million.

Earlier this week, Reed met with church members about the talks. Former Mayor and UN Ambassador Andrew Young assisted in the negotiations.

There are still some steps that need to be completed before the deal is officially done. The agreement must be agreed on by the Georgia World Congress Center Authority, which would operate the new billion dollar stadium. The GWCCA previously offered just more than $6 million for the property, but Reed is confident about getting the additional funding.

The agreement must also be ratified by Mount Vernon Baptist Church members.

Mayor Reed says a $20 million deal is in place for a neighboring church, Friendship Baptist Church, which also sits on the south side site.

Plans reportedly involve relocating the church to a dormitory site at the now-bankrupt Morris Brown College. State Senator Vincent Fort calls that a land grab.

"The city and others have tried to intervene into bankruptcy court," Fort said.

Reed countered by saying that Fort is trying to get a deal involving a Family Dollar store to build at the dorm site.

It's all part of the complicated negotiations to get a stadium built on the south side.

"Either we're going to get this done or we're not," Reed said.

The south side is the preferred site because it's on the MARTA rail line, allowing easy access to public transportation.

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