Atlanta Authority Purchases First Church Needed for New Falcons Stadium Land

August 7, 2013

Kasim Reed, mayor of Atlanta, has announced that officials have inked a $19.5m deal to buy one of the two churches occupying the land where the Atlanta Falcons plan on building their new stadium.

With the Friendship Baptist Church bought, the Georgia World Congress Center Authority still needs to purchase the Mount Vernon Baptist Church. The second church has been more problematic with recent talks breaking down after reportedly rejecting a $6.2m offer.

This disagreement has resulted in the state authority seeking a different site north of the current Georgia Dome.

Former Atlanta mayor Andrew Young is to join the restarted talks as an intermediary.

“For us to impose an artificial deadline when a significant part of this transaction has been closed, the hardest part, I think does not make sense,” Reed said. “We can walk and chew gum at the same.”

The chairman of church’s board of trustees, Lloyd Hawk, said the agreement must still be approved by the congregation. Friendship church was first established in 1862 when it initially doubled as a classroom for Atlanta University and later Morehouse College.

“If we didn’t feel there was a benefit to the church and the community, we would have said no eight months ago,” he said.