An Atlanta Hawks mixed-use development may be in the works for the area surrounding Philips Arena — a privately financed effort spurred by the city’s $185-million plan to renovate the NBA team’s home.
Mixed-use developments at sports facilities are all the craze these days, and the Atlanta Journal-Constitution is reporting that the Hawks are in talks to acquire several parcels of land near the arena in the area known as the Gulch with an eye on development. There is already one successful model for a mixed-use development in the area: the Atlanta Braves have won praise for pulling off a mixed-use development surrounding SunTrust Park in suburban Cobb County. And the possibility of the Hawks ownership investing in downtown Atlanta is not new — when the city first announced the plan to upgrade Philips Arena, the Hawks were said to be looking at launching an entertainment district (a la L.A. Live) in the area. So an Atlanta Hawks mixed-use development is a logical development. From the AJC:
In November, when Mayor Kasim Reed and the Hawks announced a renovation and lease extension deal that would keep the team downtown, Reed and Hawks lead owner Tony Ressler said the project could help fuel revitalization of the area near Philips known as the Gulch.
After the council’s approval, Reed said, “in the next 10 to 15 days we should be coming forward with a proposal for an additional billion dollars in investment as a result of the decision you all made today.”
It’s unclear if that was a direct reference to the Hawks, but people familiar with the matter said the Hawks have talked with property owners in the area, including the city and railroad giant Norfolk Southern….
It’s not known how much land the Hawks and its development team are pursuing, and it’s also unclear which sites the Hawks have in mind. The team and its partners are said to be interested in acquiring land or obtaining development rights to parcels within the Gulch, a weedy tangle of parking lots and rail lines partially covered by elevated roadways.
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