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Braves and Truist withdraw tax break request for new tower at the Battery


In what many are calling an unexplained ‘about face’, the Atlanta Braves and Truist have withdrawn their request to have Cobb County pay (in the form of bonds and tax breaks) to help build a new office tower at the Battery Atlanta. 

Nelson Geter, Executive Director of the Development Authority of Cobb County confirmed on Friday that the authority was notified by the Braves and Truist that they were withdrawing their requests for a 10-year tax abatement and $200 million in taxable revenue bonds. No reason was provided for the withdrawal.

On April 19, the community learned that the development authority’s board voted to approve two inducement resolutions, agreements that indicate the authority’s willingness to issue bonds, for the construction of a new office tower at the Battery. Truist and the Braves had indicated at this meeting that they would return to request full approval of the bonds and tax abatement at a later date. Controversy ensued as the request immediately came under attack. The Braves were going back on their promise not to seek future funds from Cobb. In their defense, the Braves tried to slice the truth thin by saying it was Truist that was asking for the money, not them. Citizens would later learn that the Braves would own the building and Truist would occupy space in it with their employees. Some point to the broken promise while others point out the willingness to mislead Cobb. 

Even though the two have reversed course in seeking taxpayer dollars to fund this project, the Braves still plan to build the tower and lease the space to Truist, the Charlotte-based bank which owns the naming rights for the Braves stadium.

 The new building, described as 250,000-square-feet and being able to house at least 1000 Truist workers, will be the new national headquarters of Truist Securities, the firm’s investment and corporate banking arm.  Currently headquartered in Buckhead, employees would move to this new building upon its completion.  A statement from Truist indicated the tower would still move forward and is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2024.

Cobb citizens are paying attention to how their tax dollars are being spent or allocated. They watched the debate years ago about the Braves coming to

Cobb, the discussion and ultimate decision to fund this venture with taxpayer dollars, the removal of the MLB All-Star Game, and the Braves ultimately winning the World Series, and everything else associated with the Braves being in Cobb.  Many wonder if this ends future corporate welfare requests from the Braves or will they be back with a new and different request for Cobb citizens to fund. 

Meanwhile, many in the community are pointing fingers at the leadership of both the Braves and the Development Authority in their attempt to shade the truth related to the 2013 promise the Braves made not to come back to Cobb County for a handout. They suggested that a microscope may need to be focused on members of the Development Authority who quickly said yes to the possibility of handing out more taxpayer money to the Braves. Many say that they may not be the best representatives to serve on this authority and manage this key area for Cobb and its citizens. 

Board members had approved the ‘newly withdrawn’ inducement resolutions in a 5-2 vote, with Karen Hallacy and J.C. Bradbury being the only two members that opposed this indictment as they pointed to the Braves’ promise that was being broken. The Braves’ promise, made years ago, said it would not seek tax breaks in addition to the more than $300 million in public subsidies Cobb County provided for the stadium.

Several members of the South Cobb community we spoke with say they are disappointed but not surprised. They continue to wait for the ‘benefits’ that

were promised to our community that would trickle down to South Cobb after the original funding request was approved for the Braves and that directing more money to that area is an insult to taxpayers in our community. 

As always, South Cobb continues to be overlooked. 


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