Wednesday, September 30, 2009

DeKalb Falcons in Sembler Stadium? Item may be up for discussion on Thursday in Doraville.

Monday night the Doraville City Council went into executive session specifically to discuss the possible acquisition of property. That same day the Georgia Supreme Court told DeKalb County’s development authority that it needs voter approval to sell bonds to pay off the debt on a new performing arts center. (See Atlanta Unfiltered.)

But the impact of the ruling could be much broader, subjecting virtually any bond issue by the authority to a public referendum. In a footnote on page 3, the court said a 2007 law requiring voter approval applies to bonds issued for “any new buildings or facilities or improvements to existing buildings or facilities.”

Since the cat is out of the bag with DeKalb County and others thinking of purchasing the GM plant in order to build a new football stadium for the "Doraville" Falcons, the Supreme Court ruling may have just thrown a wrench into their plans.

Thursday's town hall meeting on the future of the GM site is scheduled for Thursday evening at 6:30 pm at the Forest Fleming Arena, 3037 Pleasant Valley Drive, Doraville, GA 30340.

This land deal is by far the most important development project in the history of the City of Doraville and Council-member Bob Roche is so concerned over DeKalb Counties Plans that he has stated that if this happens that "Doraville might cease to exist"


Unknown said...

Really, this is an important issue for anyone in the region. The traffic from a potential stadium would have a negative impact on all the local freeways and roads.

themommy said...

It isn't just the traffic. As Doraville are trying to point out, areas around stadium generally are blighted and can't seem to improve.

Bob Fiscella said...

This is definitely something that will affect Dunwoody, regardless of who purchases the property. But with that said, if Falcons owner Arthur Blank wants to build a stadium there, I think HE would be purchasing the property and not Sembler. And I'm not so sure Arthur would get DeKalb County involved (unless he was expecting the county to pass a bond to pay for the stadium).

Cerebration said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Cerebration said...

The "Doraville Falcons"? Will they be playing the "Toledo Mudhens"?

Paula Caldarella said...

A horrible location for a stadium.
Whose idea was this?

The Happiest Chipmunk! said...

This is an atrocious idea. How did this go from a mixed-use development "similar to Atlantic Station" to a major football stadium of all things? I live in Dunwoody but in reality am much closer to Doraville. This will absolutely wreck the eastern fringes of Dunwoody.

How do we put a stop this?

John Heneghan said...

Doraville updated the meeting notice to include a few additional details.

Ellen Fix said...

I don't get what's so bad for Dunwoody residents to have a stadium over near Buford Highway and P'tree Industrial Blvd. Did I miss something? I live over on the east end of Dunwoody, also.

Sam Lamborsky said...

I must agree with Ellen. I think a stadium at the old GM plant would be a great improvement over what is there now and would have minimal, if any, effect on Dunwoody.

John Heneghan said...

DECATUR – DeKalb County CEO Burrell Ellis issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the closed General Motors plant located in Doraville:
In the summer of 2008, the Doraville General Motors automobile plant closed its doors.

As a result of this closure, 4000 jobs were lost and a 165 acre tract of land became idle and nonproductive. This was a major economic blow to DeKalb County, both in terms of lost employment and the county’s tax base.

For several months, DeKalb County has been engaged in discussions with GM and other stakeholders regarding the redevelopment of this site. Our primary interests have been clear – to pursue a redevelopment strategy for this site that would help us create jobs, to revitalize the area
and surrounding communities that were impacted by the closure, and to add to the county’s tax

We have engaged in discussions regarding a variety of redevelopment proposals for this site. Several of those proposals involve mixed-use developments including retail, residential,
commercial, and recreational facilities. At this stage, these proposals are conceptual and no final decisions regarding the use of the site have been made.

After today’s executive session of the Board of Commissioners, we received several inquiries
speculating that the county had taken action to acquire the GM property. While I am legally
prohibited from discussing actions taken in executive session, today’s session was conducted in
accordance with the law and neither the acquisition of property nor the expenditure of public funds occurred. My ongoing commitment to the citizens of DeKalb is to conduct the county’s
business in an open and transparent fashion. Accordingly, when the time comes for decisions to be made regarding the GM project, there will be full compliance with open meeting

GM previously indicated their intention to sell the property to a third-party developer prior to
December 31, 2008. To date, GM has not sold the property. Therefore, DeKalb County intends to continue working with GM to encourage the responsible and progressive redevelopment of the site in order to return this tract of land to productive economic use.

John Heneghan said...

Doraville Mayor Ray Jenkins comments on the GM Plant and DeKalb County.