With a swath of potential suitors in line to buy Turner Field, Mayor Kasim Reed said he’s asked the Atlanta Braves to reveal when they plan to leave downtown.
Speaking to a city council committee Wednesday, the mayor said he’s sent a letter asking whether the baseball club plans to renew its lease when it expires in 2016.
Braves spokeswoman Beth Marshall confirmed the team received the letter and responded several weeks ago “that we are willing to meet to discuss. As of today, we have not heard back.”
Thus far, Braves officials have remained steadfast that the team will play in the new Cobb County stadium by the 2017 season. The team has until Jan. 1, 2016, to officially give notice to the Atlanta-Fulton County Recreation Authority of whether they will exercise their right for an extension.
The mayor has every incentive to want to know the team’s exit date. Reed was among those shocked by the Braves’ announcement last November that the team plans to leave the city for the suburbs.
In the months since, he’s made repeated headlines for the number of buyers reportedly interested in the 77-acre property.
Most prominently, Georgia State University and a team of developers unveiled a proposal in May to convert the area into a $300 million mixed-use complex after the Braves leave for Cobb County.
Other interested parties include California-based developer Majestic Realty, an Abu Dhabi-based investment fund and a developer from Nevada, according to two sources with knowledge of the situation.
But the Braves’ uncertain exit makes moving forward with those deals precarious.
The team’s lease, if not renewed, expires at the end of 2016. Beyond that, the contract gives the Braves options to extend for four successive five-year periods.
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