Georgia State and Turner Field Neighborhoods Reach Agreement on Long-Term Partnership
ATLANTA—Georgia State University and neighborhood associations representing communities surrounding the Turner Field site have reached an agreement on a long-term plan for the university’s engagement with area residents.
The plan, announced today (April 24) includes the Organized Neighbors of Summerhill, Peoplestown Neighborhood Association, Mechanicsville Civic Association and Grant Park Neighborhood Association. It results from sustained, collaborative discussions among the parties over the past year.
The plan outlines wide-ranging community engagement programs and initiatives, including:
- Educational engagement from kindergarten through high school as well as college preparation programs.
- Enhancement of safety and security in the area.
- Children-focused programs, including the university’s renowned After-School All-Stars program, that have been and will continue to be part of the fabric of the communities.
- Adult-centered programs, including the highly regarded Project Healthy Grandparents and GSU62 program, which offers a tuition-free education for people over 62.
- Service learning initiatives in which students will participate in projects targeting the needs of the communities.
- Arts, cultural programing and access to athletic events.
- Research projects focusing on environmental, public health and socio-economic issues.
- A focus on entrepreneurship and economic development, and a commitment to inform residents about employment and business development opportunities.
- A pledge to address transportation-related issues in the neighborhoods.
“Georgia State believes the redevelopment of the Turner Field site will be transformational for all parties involved,” said Georgia State President Mark Becker, “including the neighborhoods, the university and the city of Atlanta. We embrace our relationship with Summerhill, Peoplestown, Mechanicsville and Grant Park and look forward to continuing our work together.”
Becker has formed a Stadium Neighborhood Engagement Committee “to ensure sustained, effective engagement” with the neighborhoods around the stadium. The committee, consisting of Georgia State faculty and administrators, will be chaired by the university’s deputy general counsel, Bharath Parthasarathy.
Georgia State is redeveloping the former Turner Field, now called Georgia State Stadium. Its development partners, Carter, Oakwood Development and Healey Weatherholtz, have purchased 22 acres and leased 13.5 acres surrounding the stadium for retail stores, housing, commercial office space and other uses. The university and its partners finalized acquisition of the site in January 2017.
“The neighborhoods look forward to continuing our positive relationship with Georgia State,” said Suzanne Mitchell, past president of Organized Neighborhood of Summerhill. “We are excited about the future and to have the university as a neighbor.”
Carter and its partners also announced today their own community investment plan with the neighborhoods. The private developer’s agreement addresses issues including flooding mitigation, infrastructure and design, workforce training and affordable housing.
“We are deeply committed to making the community safer, stronger, healthier and more stable,” said Carter Chief Executive Officer Scott Taylor. “We are pleased to have worked collaboratively with the neighborhood leadership to find common ground.”