The Atlanta area is planning for a potential mixed-use development to rival The Battery in Cobb County — and the $1 billion arena at its center is fueling rumors of the NHL’s return to ATL.
Local businessman Vernon Krause is reportedly in the planning stages to transform a 100-acre lot in Forsyth County into a residential and entertainment area larger than The Battery (2.25 million square feet), site of the Atlanta Braves’ Truist Park.
The new project, tentatively named The Gathering at South Forsyth, will feature shops and restaurants, a business hotel, and residential spaces. The whole development is projected to cost “$1.5 billion to $2 billion,” according to Carl Hirsh, managing partner of Stafford Sports, which is representing Krause.
But the centerpiece of the plans is a $1 billion, 18,000-seat arena capable of hosting any number of sports and entertainment events. “It will be a multipurpose arena that has whatever you’ve seen in arenas, wherever you’ve been — we will be able to accommodate [it],” Hirsh said.
Speculation is growing that the NHL could return to the Atlanta area, despite commissioner Gary Bettman saying in March that the league is “not in expansion mode right now.”
The Atlanta Flames and Thrashers both played in the area for a time — but each ultimately moved north to Calgary and Winnipeg, respectively.
“We’re hoping to make this the entertainment hub of North Georgia,” said Hirsh. “If the NHL at some time decides they want to expand, we would love to talk to them about that.”