Apr. 30—The Atlanta Braves and Truist Financial Corporation have withdrawn their request for bonds and tax breaks to help build a new office tower at the Battery Atlanta, the Development Authority of Cobb County confirmed on Friday.
The authority was notified that the Braves and Truist were withdrawing their requests for a 10-year tax abatement and $200 million in taxable revenue bonds, Nelson Geter, the authority’s executive director, said Friday.
No reason was provided for the withdrawal, Geter said.
The development authority’s board had voted on April 19 to approve two inducement resolutions, agreements which indicate the authority’s willingness to issue bonds, for the construction of a new office tower at the Battery.
The Braves plan to build the tower and lease it to Truist, the Charlotte-based bank which owns the naming rights for the Braves’ stadium.
Truist and the Braves had indicated at that April 19 meeting they would return to request full approval of the bonds and tax abatement.
The 250,000-square-foot building, announced in early April, will be the new national headquarters of Truist Securities, the firm’s investment and corporate banking arm. Truist Securities is currently headquartered in the Buckhead area of Atlanta.
Representatives for the Braves did not immediately return questions. A statement from Truist indicated the tower would still move forward.
“We’re excited that The Battery Atlanta will be the future headquarters of Truist Securities, continuing to explore all options with respect to the move, and fully supportive of the county and its objectives,” Brian Davis, the bank’s chief communications officer, said. “We appreciate Cobb County and the Braves’ ongoing engagement as we create this terrific opportunity for our teammates, clients, and local community. In addition to its future presence in the Battery, Truist will maintain its strong presence at Truist Plaza in downtown Atlanta and many other locations across the metro region.”
At least 1,000 Truist employees will work in the building, which is expected to be finished in the fourth quarter of 2024. The employees working in the new building would earn an average salary of $100,000, according to Bruce McCall, a lawyer for Truist.
It was not clear whether Truist and the Braves might return to the development authority with a new request, or whether they might seek incentives from other government bodies, such as Cobb County.
Board members had approved the inducement resolutions in a 5-2 vote, with Karen Hallacy and J.C. Bradbury opposed. The Braves faced scrutiny because of promises made years ago that it would not seek tax breaks in addition to the more than $300 million in public subsidies Cobb County provided for the stadium.
Braves Development Company CEO Mike Plant was quoted in the MDJ in 2015, saying, “We have not asked for any special incentives or abatements, nor do we plan to ask for any, that relate to any part of the mixed-use development with either the county or the state.”
When board member Karen Hallacy asked Plant about that promise at the April 19 meeting, Plant said that it was Truist, not the Braves, seeking incentives, and that the commitment the Braves made was only for “phase one” of the Battery.
Truist will be the sole tenant of the building, which will be located behind the ballpark. A five-story parking deck will accompany it, per Plant.
The Braves plan to build on the area east of Hank Aaron Way, between Battery Avenue and Windy Ridge Parkway; and the area north of Windy Ridge Parkway and west of Circle 75 Parkway.
Construction is expected to begin in the fourth quarter of 2022.