Focus shifts to alternate site of new Falcons stadium - FOX 10 News | fox10phoenix.com

Focus shifts to alternate site of new Falcons stadium

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ATLANTA -

The site of the new Atlanta Falcons stadium remains up in the air after negotiations have stalled with two churches that sit on the preferred site.

The two historic African-American churches are located at Northside Drive and Martin Luther Boulevard, where the city has said it prefers the new billion-dollar stadium to be constructed.

FOX 5 has learned that talks with Mt. Vernon Baptist Church have stalled. Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed has publicly acknowledged that negotiations have soured with Friendship Baptist Church after the 460 member congregation walked away from a $15.5 million offer.

"We have not gotten an offer from the city that's been acceptable to meet all the needs of the church and what we think is in the best interest of everyone," said Lloyd Hawk of Friendship Baptist Church.

On Wednesday, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority's stadium committee turned their attention to a north site. The committee recommended the Falcons conduct a feasibility study on the second lot so that the team can meet its deadlines to build its new home.

"We're preparing ourselves and getting ready to set the stage that should the Falcons determine that the south side is not feasible that we have already taken action necessary to support a north side feasibility assessment," said GWCC Executive Director Frank Poe.

But the 19-acre north site, which borders Northside Drive at Ivan Allen Blvd and Marietta Street, has its detractors.

Mike Koblentz represents 15 neighborhoods in the area who are opposed to the project. He fears the stadium would make traffic unbearable.

"I think the Falcons are making a very serious mistake, or the World Congress Center, by even entertaining this location which doesn't work. There's no MARTA connection. It will be an island onto its own," said Koblentz.

Friendship Baptist Church officials said they hope to meet with the city again sometime next week.

The Georgia World Congress Center Authority said they plan to take their vote on the north feasibility study on Tuesday.

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