The DeKalb County location for Atlanta United's training facility is no more. In a press release issued Friday, Atlanta United cited "higher-than-anticipated site preparation and remediation costs."
Team owner Arthur Blank said regarding the situation:
"We are grateful for DeKalb County’s partnership in working through the due diligence process. After reviewing the reports together, we are in agreement that the economics of the site have changed so significantly that neither party is comfortable asking the DeKalb taxpayers to take on the additional financial burden. Unfortunately, the site just doesn’t work for this specific project."
The DeKalb site has been hotly debated by both local residents and the opposing DeKalb Commissioners over the past few months. In what was celebrated at an extensive press conference only three months ago, Atlanta United must now look towards a back up plan. Luckily, the club has done its due diligence and is ready despite this latest setback.
The new location will likely be set on Franklin Road in Marietta. It remains to be seen whether substantial alterations will need to be made regarding the building plans and fields. More concerning, and also unknown, is whether the DeKalb fall-through will force a delay in the originally planned January 2017 opening of the facility.
Blank acknowledged that the club examined the possibility of other sites within DeKalb but made the decision to move forth with Cobb County.
"We are also appreciative of Lee May’s willingness to explore alternate locations in DeKalb. However, as we previously indicated, we were working concurrently on due diligence on a site in Marietta given our time constraints, and we have made the decision to finalize discussions with the City of Marietta and Cobb County regarding the property located on Franklin Road."
Stay tuned to Dirty South Soccer for continued updates on the training facility.