ATLANTA - Some residents surrounding Turner Field said their voices are not being heard when it comes to the redevelopment plans for the area. They feel it is a repeat of what happened more than 20 years ago when Turner Field was built and all they were left with was a stadium and empty parking lots.
“For decades, we’ve been displaced, we have poor infrastructures, not a good economic development and this time we want to make sure they do the right thing,” said Sherise Brown who has lived in Peoplestown for 25 years.
Brown said she remembers the false promises that were made when Turner Field was built and does not want it to happen again.
Georgia State University obtained 68 acres, which will include the football stadium, a baseball field and other possible projects. A private developer, Carter will also control some the land and plans to construct a private student dormitory and a multi-family housing project, both with ground floor retail.
But some residents said that does not represent what they want and fear a project like that will displace residents.
“If it benefits us we will be pleased, but what I don’t see is affordable housing I do not see anything in that settlement agreement about definitely doing green infrastructure, providing jobs which was asked for in the community benefit agreement,” said Brown.
At a panel Wednesday evening at Georgia State University, residents talked about a community benefit agreement they want to see between the residents, developer and Georgia State University. Residents said while they have been working on it for two years, the university will not negotiate with them.
Residents have teamed up with students at Georgia State University, who said as their new neighbors they feel a responsibility to voice the residents’ concerns to the administration and fight on their behalf.
“It’s an extremely gentrify, booshie area that they are trying to create which means, which requires displacing the low income black families who have been historically there,” said GSU student, Patricio Cambias.
Residents said they just want to sit down with project leaders and come up with a plan that would have something for everyone.
“It is not a one sided deal, it should be for everybody,” said Brown. “Right now its look like it is for the developers and for them to make money and we say community over commodity."