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Meetings to share information on Braves’ SunTrust Park

Residents and the business community are invited to two upcoming informational meetings on the Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park.

American Builders 2017 will host a SunTrust Park Business Outreach meeting 6-8 p.m., Wednesday, Dec. 3, at the Cobb Senior Wellness Center. Those interested in attending should RSVP atamericanbuilders2017.com. The Senior Wellness Center is located at 1150 Powder Springs St., Marietta.

Cobb County staff will host a public information meeting 3-7 p.m., Tuesday, Dec. 9. There will be no formal presentation, so people may drop in any time during the allotted hours. The open house format will feature displays from the Atlanta Braves, Cobb Department of Public Safety, Cobb Department of Transportation and Cobb Community Development. Stop by each display, converse with staff and gain a greater understanding of all the measures being taken in preparation for the opening of SunTrust Park. The meeting will be held in the BOC Room on the second floor of 100 Cherokee St., Marietta.

 

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Arson hotline offers $10K reward for information on fire in East Cobb Braves critic’s yard

A screenshot from surveillance video around Susan McCoy’s house shows her front yard bursting into flame, after she says a man is seen running away from the scene. Courtesy of Susan McCoy

 

A Georgia hotline for arson complaints is offering up to $10,000 as a reward for information about a fire last week at the home of a woman who criticized the county’s role in the deal to bring the Braves stadium to Cobb County.

The reward is funded by insurance companies based in Georgia who donate to the Georgia Arson Control Hotline, and it is only given to people who can give information that will lead to the arrest and conviction of someone responsible for the arson, said Sam Heaton, Cobb’s public safety director.

Heaton said fire investigators declared the fire at the home of Susan McCoy, an east Cobb attorney, was arson this week.

“The (Georgia Arson Control Hotline) comes from a group of insurance companies that invest funds into this group.

If there is an arrest and conviction, the person that turns it in can be awarded up to $10,000,” Heaton said. “They have a board that oversees those cases.”

McCoy said if a person provides information about the case but doesn’t receive the full $10,000 reward, she personally guarantees the remainder.

The fire, which destroyed a portion of McCoy’s plastic white picket fence, as well as plants and grass in her front yard, took place about a week after she blasted the commissioners for favoring the interests of the Braves’ ownership over those of the county at a Board of Commissioners meeting.

At the meeting, McCoy criticized the board’s approval of using county money to finance the construction of SunTrust Park, the new Braves stadium to be built near Cumberland Mall.

McCoy said she has filed a complaint with the Securities and Exchange Commission asking the federal agency to investigate the bond issuance for “fraud or material misstatements.”

Since the fire, McCoy has said she believes it was an act of retaliation against her statements.

Although Tim Lee, chairman of the Cobb County Board of Commissioners, had previously agreed to meet with McCoy to discuss her complaints, he canceled the meeting after the fire.

Lee said he didn’t want to meet with McCoy until the investigation into the fire was resolved.

McCoy said a person can be seen pouring fuel on her yard and lighting it before running away early in the morning of Sept. 18 in video taken by cameras attached to her home.

“I handed over 24 hours of surveillance video (of that day) from the cameras that are installed all around my house to the investigators to examine what they could find,” McCoy said.

In the meantime, McCoy said she has been increasing the security around her home and practicing at the shooting range in case she should need to protect her husband and two boys, ages 11 and 13, in the future.

“I went to the shooting range this past weekend and brushed up on my shooting skills, so hopefully no one will think about coming back,” McCoy said.

McCoy said she hasn’t tried to fix the fence or plants that were burned in her yard yet because she’s been too busy. She said she doesn’t know how much the repairs will cost, but she won’t get any help from her insurance company to pay for the damage.

“I had a fire in 2009 for my house, and it was a huge fire with an air conditioning unit,” McCoy said.

“When we tried to make those claims it placed us into another category of risk (on the insurance policy). So, I am not capable of making another claim of a fire without it jeopardizing my home insurance.”

McCoy said her family had to leave their home for nine months while the previous damage was repaired. The experience scared her children, McCoy said.

“(The arsonist) just re-aggravated some older issues with my children,” McCoy said.

(Reprinted from The Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Hilary Butschek, September 27, 2014.) 

East Marietta players attend Braves groundbreaking

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The Atlanta Braves invited players from the East Marietta Little League to their recent groundbreaking. East Marietta players enjoyed the experience and even left some Sewell Park dirt on the field.

It was a great day for East Marietta baseball!

Groundbreaking set for Brave’s $672M stadium

The Atlanta Braves are on deck to break ground on the organization’s new $672 million ballpark during a ceremony Sept. 16 at 11 a.m.

Officials say the groundbreaking will begin the construction phase of the project, putting it on schedule to welcome fans for opening day in 2017.

The new ballpark at the intersection of I-75 and I-285 will feature three decks, 41,500 seats, 14 access points, a wide concourse and an overhang approximately three times larger than most ballparks.

“This new ballpark will be a world-class venue that will give Braves Country the ultimate fan experience, both inside the park and out,” said Terry McGuirk, Braves chairman and CEO. “We look forward to continuing to build great memories for our fans at this wonderful new location.”

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal, September 3, 2014. Click HERE for the original MDJ article.) 

 

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Braves ballpark builders to hold meeting on bidding opportunities

Atlanta Braves

Anyone interested in an opportunity to be a part of building the new Atlanta Braves ballpark is invited to join American Builders 2017 from 6 to 8 p.m. on August 11 at Riverside EpiCenter in Austell. At that meeting, interested parties will receive information on bidding opportunities for the project, learn more about American Builders 2017 and hear an overview of the project. RSVP at www.americanbuilders2017.com.

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by MDJ staff, July 30, 2014. View the original article HERE.)

 

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Braves fans can celebrate the season all summer long

Atlanta Braves

Atlanta Braves released a promotional calendar full of fan-friendly happenings, gate giveaways and exciting events for the 2014 season.

Prior to the July 27th matchup against the Philadelphia Phillies, the Braves will hold a viewing for the 2014 National Hall of Fame induction and free poster gate giveaway for fans. Following their induction, the Braves will welcome Bobby Cox, Tom Glavine and Greg Maddux to Turner Field as Hall of Famers for the 2014 Alumni Weekend Aug. 8-10.

In continued dedication to honor the United States Military and Armed Forces, the Atlanta Braves will celebrate our service members by donning a new military-themed jersey in the 2014 season. After each game the jerseys are worn, the new jerseys will be auctioned online with the proceeds benefitting military-supportive charities.

  • July 19 vs. Philadelphia Phillies – The Braves will honor the US Marines (online auction to benefit United Military Care, Inc.)
  • Aug. 30 vs. Miami Marlins – The Braves will celebrate the US Navy (online auction will benefit The Shepard Center SHARE Military Initiative)
  • Sept. 19 vs. New York Mets – The Braves will honor the US Air Force’s anniversary (online auction will benefit the USO).

Some highlights of the promotional calendar include:

  • The Braves will commemorate the centennial anniversary of their 1914 World Series win over the Philadelphia Athletics when the Braves take on the Oakland A’s Aug. 15-17.
  • Other free giveaways include magnetic schedules, presented by Georgia Power, a Hall of Fame poster giveaway on July 20 and a NAPA cap on August 16.
  • Doggone-good event at Bark in the Park will be held on Aug. 31.
  • Every week at Turner Field throughout the regular season, fans will be dazzled by spectacular fireworks-filled evenings during Friday Night Fireworks, presented by Georgia Lottery, meet and greets with players of yesteryears during Alumni Sundays, a whirl around the infield for Kids Run the Bases, presented by Children’s Healthcare of Atlanta as well as free pre-and-post-game concerts.

Fans can also enjoy:

  • Coca-Cola Two-for-$30 Tuesdays: Two tickets for $30 in the Club Level Pavilion every Tuesday, fans save up to 50%.
  • Chevron Family Value Plan: Save Up to 40% and bring your family out to Turner Field with the Chevron Family Value Plan. Packages start as low as $69, and include: four game tickets, four hot dogs, four soft drinks, a parking pass and a $10 promotional card from Chevron.
  • All You Can Eat Seats: For as low as $50 for group tickets on Super Value games and $60 at the gate, fans can enjoy unlimited smoked BBQ sandwiches, chicken wings, all beef franks, potato salad, peanuts, popcorn, chocolate chip cookies, Coca-Cola products, and draft beers.
  • AAA Discount: Two Upper Box tickets for the price of one and $8 Outfield tickets with a AAA ID card.
  • College Discount: Two Upper Box tickets for the price of one with a valid college ID.
  • Military Discount: Two Upper Box and Outfield tickets for the price of one tickets with a valid military ID.
  • $1 General Admission: Available two and a half hours before every home game at the Turner Field Ticket Office.

Purchase single game tickets by clicking HERE, or contact the Turner Field ticket office, the Braves Clubhouse Store at CNN Center, all Ticketmaster locations or by calling 1-800-745-3000.

5-0: Cobb-bound Braves’ development passes planning commission

An aerial view of the Braves development

 

The Cobb Planning Commission approved a rezoning request for the proposed 74-acre Braves stadium and mixed-use development by a 5-0 vote on Tuesday, over objections from several attorneys.

The decision now heads to the Cobb Board of Commissioners for final action on July 15.

Planning Commission Chairman Mike Terry said it was clear the Braves are committed to building a quality 74-acre development.

With $300 million from the county, the Braves are building a $672 million new stadium adjacent to a private $400 million mixed-use development, both scheduled to open in 2017.

“They have more to lose than anyone in this and all of us, including the staff members, have a great desire to see this be successful moving forward,” Terry said. “So based on all of this and the wonderful and very strong recommendations that we got from our staff, I’m prepared to make a motion, and my motion would be for approval.”

Alston & Bird attorney Clay Massey objected to the zoning request on behalf of Genuine Parts Company, which is headquartered across the street from the development.

“Genuine Parts Company employs many, many, many people in Cobb County,” Massey said. “The proposal is to put an off-site parking garage directly across Circle 75 Parkway from Genuine Parts Company.”

Massey said while the company is a corporate sponsor of the Braves and is excited about the franchise moving to Cobb, the zoning request is wrong.

“It’s going to create a colossal traffic and congestion jam in front of Genuine Parts Company’s corporate headquarters,” Massey said.

A source familiar with the negotiations tells the MDJ that Genuine Parts has engaged in contract negotiations for the Braves to purchase “or otherwise encumber” its property and has opted to bring those real estate negotiations into the rezoning process.

The MDJ asked Braves zoning attorney James Balli for his thoughts.

“While we respect anyone’s right to speak, these are typically contract negotiations that should not be injected into the zoning process,” Balli said.

Mike Plant, the Braves executive vice president of business operations, said his franchise has had active discussions with Genuine Parts.

“We’re incredibly pleased that they’re one of our partners. They are a long-term partner of ours. We understand this process. They have an office complex there that’s been there for a long period of time. I think the thing that is a fact of interest, though, is the parking there, we haven’t defined exactly what it’s going to be.”

Existing zoning allows for a four-story parking deck on the site, Plant said.

“Whoever bought the property could build a four-story deck, so making sure you got all the facts and educating yourself with those. We’ll continue to have dialogue and discussion with them,” Plant said. “They are a valued partner of ours. This is all part of the process.”

Dahlonega attorney George Butler is representing Fairly Breezy LLC, which owns an adjacent lot off Cobb Parkway.

Butler objected to the rezoning as well and claimed the Braves offered to buy his client’s property for less than what he believes it is worth.

Ellen Smith, an attorney with Holt Ney Zatcoff & Wasserman, said she represents the Waterford Place Condominium Association, a 120-unit development between Cobb Parkway and Circle 75.

Smith said the association’s 13.5-acre property was roughly the size of the property the Braves intend to use for parking.

“Since the announcement of the relocation of the Atlanta Braves to Cobb County, the residents of Waterford Place have sought to be informed and have a voice in connection with the project because without question the nature of their homes are going to be impacted,” Smith said. “The Atlanta Braves have politely and firmly brushed aside requests to meet and to discuss concerns ranging from safety to traffic, parking and attraction noise.”

Balli said Smith’s comment the Braves refused to meet with the condominium association was inaccurate.

“They required an in-depth meeting in February of this year before there was any concrete information to discuss,” Balli said. Balli said the association never called him requesting a meeting before Tuesday’s hearing.

“But I fully expect every concern voiced by them at the hearing to be addressed by the final development plan,” he said.

Jill Flamm, an officer with the East Cobb Civic Association, said her group was concerned a precedent would be set with the development’s master covenants overriding county code.

Terry included in his motion, however, the caveat that whenever there is a difference of standards between the Braves’ master covenants and the county’s development standards, the more restrictive of the two prevails.

“I think it’s a start,” Flamm said after the meeting. “I think we’ll see what happens before the Board of Commissioners.”

Plant called the vote another step forward.

“We’ve said from Day 1 this was a world-class ball park,” Plant said. “It’s going to be a world-class mixed-use development, and the two of those are going to coexist together. And they’re going to be life-changing, legacy, generational changes for Cobb County, and this was a big day for us.”

The property is now zoned general commercial, office high rise and office and institutional.

The Braves are requesting the property be rezoned regional retail commercial. The zoning classification is reserved for mixed-use developments exceeding 500,000 square feet in size and contain a combination of commercial uses, including office, retail and residential space.

The privately-owned development calls for:

• 630,000 square feet of Class A office space;

• 500,000 square feet of “upscale” retail space;

• 450 hotel rooms;

• 600 “luxury” multi-family residential units; and

• 100,000 square feet for a multi-use entertainment facility.

 

(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Jon Gillooly, July 2, 2014. View the original article HERE.)

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Braves stadium and BOC update

In an ongoing effort to keep the public well informed about details of the Atlanta Braves move to Cobb, county staff continually updates a central Web site with a wealth of information, including frequently asked questions, financial projections, zoning documents and a construction management timeline. To view a video of the latest update presented to the Board of Commissioners at its June 24 meeting, please click here. To visit the Web site, click here or visit cobbcounty.org and click on the “Braves” tab.

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Hale gets first major league hit

Photo credit: mlb.com

David Hale, Shallowford Falls Fox, Princeton Graduate and winning pitcher for the Atlanta BRAVES got his first major league hit this weekend against the Rockies.

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Hurdle cleared for Braves’ move to Cobb as BoC OKs contracts, including $397M for stadium

Commissioners on Tuesday voted in favor of allowing the county to borrow up to $397 million to build a new baseball stadium for the Atlanta Braves.

Commissioners also voted in favor of a series of contracts that spell out the terms of the relationship between the county and baseball franchise over the next 30 years. 

American Builders 2017, a joint venture of four builders, was selected by commissioners as the construction manager to build the stadium, which is planned to open by April 2017 down the road from Cumberland Mall. 

All votes were unanimous, except the resolution authorizing the issuance of up to $397 million in bonds. 

Commissioner Lisa Cupid of south Cobb voted against the resolution, arguing the document was not released until after close of business Friday. 

“I just don’t want to set a precedent that this is how we do business — that you can present changes at the last minute, and we’re not going to let it go through the public process,” Cupid said. 

Commissioner Bob Ott, who represents the area where the stadium will be built, said he was satisfied with all aspects of the deal. 

“I think there was a lot of time spent to craft the agreements in the best interest of the county, and I spent a lot of time reviewing the documents, sending in questions, getting answers back,” Ott said. “There were many tweaks or changes to the agreements tonight as a result of the questions that I had.” 

During a press conference following the meeting, Mike Plant, Braves executive vice president of business operations, said the franchise locked itself into a contract with Cobb County for the next 30 years. 

“There’s no business that’s in this county that has a guarantee that they’re going to be here for 30 years providing the jobs we do and the economic values and the economic impact that we do,” Plant said. 

Public comment skirmish 

Commissioners allow up to 12 people to speak during the public comment part of the meeting, based on a first-come, first-to- speak basis. Those 12 slots, each given five minutes time, were filled Tuesday by fans of the deal from Marietta attorney Justin O’Dell to Sally Macaulay, executive director of the Marietta/Cobb Museum of Art. 

Seeing all public comment slots filled upset the same handful of critics who have regularly attended the meetings to criticize the county’s deal with the Braves, among them Rich Pellegrino, Ben Williams and Gary Pelphrey.

They shouted to be heard, a request Lee declined and were ultimately escorted out of the room by Cobb police officers. 

Lee said after the meeting if they wanted to speak, they should have come earlier to sign up. 

“The folks that chose to grab the media attention and put on a little bit of a display are the same people who have been in front of us a number of times in the last six months, all with the same message,” Lee said. 

Pelphrey, a retired attorney, has a pending ethics complaint filed against Lee with the Cobb Board of Ethics. 

Addressing the packed room, which was filled with residents wearing “Cobb Home of the Braves” T-shirts, Lee rebuked “the Atlanta media,” saying, “If you were to read and believe what you read by the Atlanta media you’d be grossly off course as to where we are tonight.” 

Lee went on to say, “By reading what was provided over the weekend, you would assume that we were headed for chaos, destruction, uncertainty, failure, calamity, everything else associated with it, if you chose to believe what you read in the Atlanta media.”

Yet Lee said the opposite of disaster took place during the board meeting. 

“It was the truth that was presented tonight, and the truth shall prevail to anybody that wants to take the time to go on Cobbcounty.org and read each of these themselves,” he said. 

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution wrote Monday that the mixed-use development the Braves intend to build around the new stadium “remains little more than a handshake deal in the stadium development contract.” 

Plant called the article “reckless, irresponsible and grossly negligent reporting, as far as I’m concerned.”

Plant cited the $49 million his franchise has spent purchasing the 82 acres of property where the stadium and mixed-use development will be built. 

“We have spent millions of dollars on civil engineering, land planning, the master planning, running (a request for qualifications and a request for proposals) process to find our development partner, which we found, and will announce shortly. And obviously we’ve submitted a planning and zoning application for the entire mixed-use site for all phases,” Plant said. 

One of the reasons the Braves chose to the leave Turner Field, Plant said, was the franchise’s inability to build a mixed-use development around the stadium. 

“We have spent a lot of time and money to file our Development of Regional Impact application, and the bottom line is, what part of all of that has not demonstrated our commitment to do the mixed-use development, which is one of the reasons why we left? That was a material, substantive reason that we wanted to accomplish at Turner Field downtown. Why would we not move forward in accomplishing that here?”

Plant said the Braves have already spent $70 million on the mixed-use part of the development to date. 

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(Reprinted from the Marietta Daily Journal. Written by Jon Gillooly May 28, 2014. Read more: The Marietta Daily Journal – Hurdle cleared for Braves move to Cobb as BoC OKs contracts including