Saturday September 30, 2023

Hawks Owner Sees Bright Future for Development Near Arena

  • Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler wants fast progress on a 50-acre development near the team's State Farm Arena.
  • Investors in the project include Shaquille O'Neal and Grant Hill.
Oct 27, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Hawks owner Tony Ressler is shown during the Hawks game against the Detroit Pistons at Philips Arena. The Pistons won 106-94.
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The Atlanta Hawks’ owner is looking forward to bringing some new neighbors to his team.

Ares Management co-founder Tony Ressler is going forward with a development near his team’s State Farm Arena and Mercedes Benz Stadium, home to the Atlanta Falcons and MLS club Atlanta United.

The project at the 50-acre Centennial Yards site will include housing (20% of which will be affordable housing), office space, retail, and parks. Ressler brushed off concerns related to inflation and interest rates regarding the project.

Ressler’s group — which includes NBA Hall of Famers Shaquille O’Neal and Grant Hill as well as civil rights leader Andrew Young — owns around 35% of the project, while the real estate company CIM Group owns the rest.

“Supporting small businesses, and of minorities in particular, is good for the economy and good business,” Ressler told Bloomberg. The project has committed to 38% minority contractor participation.

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The $5 billion project is receiving around $2 billion in tax incentives, and city and state taxes collected at the site will go to its developers for a 30-year period. The group will also pay reduced property taxes for 20 years.

Atlanta’s status as one of 16 host cities for the 2026 World Cup adds urgency to complete the project, Ressler added. That tournament’s games will be played at Mercedes Benz Stadium.

Ressler, who bought the Hawks in 2015 for $730 million, is worth an estimated $7.2 billion. His Ares Management has raised $3.7 billion for sports-related investments and has offered to buy a minority stake in Manchester United.

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