Atlanta city officials have found the private funds needed to purchase Mount Vernon Baptist Church, potentially clearing the last obstacle to building the new Atlanta Falcons stadium on Martin Luther King and Northside Drives, a source close to the negotiations confirmed Wednesday.
A negotiated price of $14.5 million is tentative. The Mount Vernon congregation, one of two historic black churches that must be relocated if the $1 billion stadium is to be constructed at the site, has yet to vote on the proposal. Church leaders, who have remained quiet during the negotiations, could not be reached Wednesday.
Talks broke down between the the state and the church in late July after Mount Vernon rejected the state’s $6.2 million offer — the highest officials say they can pay according to a state law that limits them from going higher than appraised value.
At that time, the church asked for $20.4 million, a price that later dropped to $15.5 million, Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed said in an August press conference. The offer now on the table drops the asking price again. It does not involve city funds or city property, according to the source familiar with the talks.