Smashing New Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park & Surrounds– Lacking Rail?

Smashing New Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park & Surrounds– Lacking Rail?

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Aerial view of the new Braves’ SunTrust Park and surrounding mixed-use development.
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The new Braves development is across I-285 to the Cumberland/ Galleria District, looking south to Downtown Atlanta (upper right) which is 12 miles due south and 7 miles southwest to Buckhead (upper left).  The tree cover, visually, belies the true urban nature of the city.
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Main site at I-75, I-285 and Cobb Parkway
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Additional development site with view to the skylines of Buckhead (left) and Atlanta (right).

The Atlanta Braves are constructing a $1.1 million stadium and mixed used development and have released new renderings.

According to the New York Times, “the Braves stunned metropolitan Atlanta last November by announcing they would pull up stakes downtown, their home since migrating from Milwaukee in 1966, and move to Cobb County.”

Cobb County has a nearly 700,000 person population and ranks as the most educated county in Georgia and among the top 100 wealthiest counties of the United States, according to bizjournals.com. Cumberland is the Atlanta region’s fifth-largest business district.  However, it has, thus far, refused to be a part of MARTA. 

The state-of-the-art ballpark, named SunTrust Park, will be surrounded with a a $400 million mixed-use development in the north Atlanta suburb of Cobb County at Cumberland/Galleria, near the historic cities of Smyrna and Marietta, where I-75 crosses the north Perimeter I-285.  Controversial as it was — leaving Downtown Atlanta — construction is underway and the designs look phenomenal.  Populous is the stadium architect and Wakefield Beasley & Associates is the architect of the retail/ office/ hotel/ residential development surrounding the stadium.

According to the Braves website, “The ballpark is designed with the fans in mind. With 41,500 seats, the intimate configuration maximizes sightlines and elevations, placing a higher percentage of seats closer to the field than any other ballpark in Major League Baseball. A 90-foot roof — three times the size of our current roof — and air conditioning on every level will ensure that a majority of fans are cool on hot summer days. 

The existing topography of the property has been carefully integrated into the design. The intimacy of the ballpark will be accentuated by building the facility into the gently sloping terrain. Trees will separate parking sections that cascade down the slopes.”

Popular Chops restaurant will be three levels overlooking views of the playing field and the action on the plaza outside the front gate.  Around the central courtyard, fans will be able to catch a craft beer, theatrical performance, shopping, concert, or dinner of any kind before a Braves game or even any other day of the year.

 “And for those who want to stay more than a day, the community will offer approximately 500 residences, a boutique hotel and office space. The design respects and embraces the natural typography of the property, using abundant green space to create a park-like setting in an urban environment.  It will be a first of its kind: a brand new place to be that will simultaneously create a major sports venue and surrounding community, which will fit seamlessly together from the first pitch, ” according to the Braves.

According to Paul Newberry of the Associated Press, “In addition to the hotel and office tower, Braves officials there will be a large facility hosting several restaurants and bars, as well as retail shops and housing in the complex around their $622 million stadium. There are also plans for an outdoor amphitheater with grass seating, as well as an indoor concert and convention venue with a capacity of up to 4,000.”

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A new central street axis will run from Cobb Parkway into the new stadium.
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An amphitheatre near the stadium will be grassy and follow natural topography.
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Amphitheatre for concerts and performances of all kinds.
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Central courtyard with hotel, offices and retail/restaurants.
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Performing Arts Theatre and Braves Restaurant & Logo Shops
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Overview
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Central courtyard
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View from home plate.
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Stadium Entrance
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Aerial view of SunTrust Park.

Although the Georgia Department of Transportation is constructing

more than $1 billion in improvements to the existing roads near the site, most Atlantans wonder why there are no plans for MARTA heavy or light rail rapid transit through one of the most congested areas of the metro.  The Cobb Community Transit bus system is planning the development of a trolley line connecting Cumberland-area businesses, and Cobb County officials plan sidewalk improvements and a pedestrian-only bridge crossing I-285 to the Cobb Galleria area.

Still, this is not a regional transportation plan, as it should be.

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The site, looking south toward Downtown Atlanta
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Map
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The original map of proposed MARTA from the early 1970’s, showing the northwest rail to Cobb County we need today.
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Proposed pedestrian bridge over I-285 from Cumberland/Galleria to site.
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The Perimeter I-285 as it crosses I-75, before new construction.
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Current plans inlcluding managed lanes.
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Conceptual MARTA map with northwest line to Cobb/ Cumberland/ Marietta. MARTA already has plans to go to Alpharetta to the north.

Just south, across the Perimeter (I-285), are Cumberland Mall, the Cobb Galleria, and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Theatre.

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Cumberland Mall
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Office building at Cumberland
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Cobb Galleria Centre
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Office buildings at Cumberland
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Portman office buildings at Cumberland
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Roundabout at the Galleria

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The Apple store at Cumberland.
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Cumberland skyline with the Cobb Energy Performing Arts Theatre in the foreground
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Centre across the street
Cobb Energy Performing Arts Theatre
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Cobb Energy Performing Arts Theatre

 

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Cobb Energy Performing Arts Theatre

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Highly acclaimed CANOE restaurant

Just south of Cumberland, toward Buckhead Atlanta, is the historic town of Vinings along the Chattahoochee River.

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Vinings
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Vinings
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Avignon at Vinings
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Landmark Old Vinings Inn
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Vinings offices and highrise residential.
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Vinings
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The Chattahoochee River National Recreation Area
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Chattahoochee River
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Sope Creek Ruins
Bob Callan Trail voted #1
The Bob Callan Trail on the Chattahoochee is a favorite.
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Offices near the river.
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Sope Creek
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Sope Creek Paper Mill ruins
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Sope Creek Paper Mill ruins
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A view from Vinings mountain.

Just north of SunTrust Park is Smyrna– where superstar Julia Roberts was born and raised.  Incidentally, I grew up just across the river from her, during the same years — in Sandy Springs.

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Smyrna
Downtown Smyrna
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Just one covered bridge remains in the area, in Smyrna.
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New townhomes in Smyrna.

North of Smyrna is the historic town of  Kennesaw, with the National Kennesaw Battlefield Park and Kennesaw Mountain and the important city of Marietta.

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Lockheed-Martin, global aerospace, defense, security and advanced technology company.
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Dobbins Air Reserve Base
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Marietta Square
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Cobb County Courthouse, Marietta
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Cobb YMCA
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Food trucks in Marietta
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Marietta mixed use development
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Marietta townhomes

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The 56 foot tall Big Chicken, built in 1956, is a landmark in Marietta– the beak moves, and it’s sponsored by Pepsi-Cola — not Coca-Cola!

 

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The Marietta town square.

Kennesaw, GA and the biggest mountain in Atlanta (other than the enormous outcropping of granite– Stone Mountain)

Nearby Attractions
Southern Museum of Civil War & Locomotive History

 

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City Hall
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Kennesaw State University
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Kennesaw State University
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Kennesaw State University Auditorium
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The view from Kennesaw Mountain
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Illinois Monument at Cheatham Hill, Kennesaw National Battlefield Park
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New Embassy Suites at Kennesaw
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Kennesaw State University
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View of  Downtown Atlanta and Midtown Atlanta from Stone Mountain, Buckhead skyline is out of view, to the right.
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Downtown Kennesaw

As you can see, these are vital parts of metro Atlanta– MARTA rail is highly needed for this area.

Thanks for your following.

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