Atlanta mayor: Deal reached with church on stadium - CBS46 News

Atlanta mayor: Deal reached with church on stadium

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ATLANTA (CBS ATLANTA) -

Atlanta Mayor Kasim Reed announced Tuesday that a deal has been reached with Friendship Baptist Church. The city will purchase the church for $19.5 million. The church board members will have to ratify the agreement.

Reed also announced that they will not cut off the conversation with Mount Vernon Baptist Church.

"What sense does it make to spend all this time negotiating to get a number you agree on then walk away and go to the north parcel," said Reed.

Last week, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority announced it terminated negotiations with Mount Vernon Baptist Church after the church rejected the last offer of $6.2 million from the GWCCA.

Mount. Vernon wants the same deal Friendship is getting, but Reed said the value of the churches differ.

"I think it's hard to be a leader of a religious institution and not want to stick up for your congregation and believe your congregation has equal value, but Friendship has a history that has to be addressed," said Reed. "It's not just real estate and neither is it just real estate for Mount Vernon but their histories are radically different histories."

Plans for the new stadium required the acquisition from both Mount Vernon and Friendship Baptist Church to build the new stadium at the preferred site, which is south of the Georgia Dome.

On Aug. 1, the Atlanta Falcons started a feasibility study on the site north of the Dome.

The Falcons responded to the agreement with the following statement:

"We commend the Mayor, city officials and the congregation of Friendship Baptist Church for all of their hard work in reaching a tentative agreement for the acquisition of the church property. The church property purchase price falls within the terms of the Memorandum Of Understanding (MOU) for the acquisition of property adjacent to the proposed south site for the new stadium. This is certainly a positive development for the south site; however, other significant issues and requirements remain unresolved on that site."

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