Smashing New Atlanta Braves’ SunTrust Park & Surrounds– Lacking Rail?
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.”
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.
Just south, across the Perimeter (I-285), are Cumberland Mall, the Cobb Galleria, and Cobb Energy Performing Arts Theatre.
Just south of Cumberland, toward Buckhead Atlanta, is the historic town of Vinings along the Chattahoochee River.
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.
North of Smyrna is the historic town of Kennesaw, with the National Kennesaw Battlefield Park and Kennesaw Mountain and the important city of Marietta.
Kennesaw, GA and the biggest mountain in Atlanta (other than the enormous outcropping of granite– Stone Mountain)