Neighborhoods that surround the current location of the Atlanta Braves’ stadium will have some contemplating to do between now and 2017. The Atlanta Journal Constitution reports that the Atlanta Braves will relocate to neighboring Cobb County where they plan to build new facilities. Atlanta mayor Kasim Reed could not close the deal on keeping the Braves here, according to published reports. Mayor Reed appears ready for life after the Braves leave, expressing his excitement about development alternatives and opportunities for the area.
The stadium, surrounded by neighborhoods that include Mechanicsville and Summerhill, is itself surrounded by plenty of nothing but concrete. I see an opportunity to deploy a sustainable development option that could bring longer term employment to the area. The median household income in Mechanicsville is $19,250, according to the website, City-Data.com. This is less than half of the median income for the city of Atlanta, which is approximately $43,903. Approximately 35% of the neighborhood lives below the poverty line compared to approximately 26% of the city of Atlanta overall.
It’s too early to tell what Mr. Reed’s plans may be for the area. Given his overwhelming victory in last week’s elections, he may have the political capital to implement a development solution for Mechanicsville and other areas that has greater returns than plopping down $450 million to keep the Braves in southeast Atlanta.