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World Congress Center Approves Football Hall of Fame Location | Business

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World Congress Center Approves Football Hall of Fame Location

ATLANTA -- The Georgia World Congress Center Authority voted unanimously Tuesday to negotiate with Atlanta Hall Management Inc. to locate the College Football Hall of Fame on the Georgia World Congress Center's 2.7-acre Green Parking Lot.

The lot is adjacent to Building A on Marietta Street across from Centennial Olympic Park.

Atlanta Hall Management's board of directors will meet Wednesday to discuss and likely vote on the proposed location.

Atlanta Hall Management and the GWCC Authority, which oversees operations of the convention center, the Georgia Dome and Centennial Olympic Park, have been discussing the use of the Geen Lot site for the College Football Hall of Fame for about six months, said Frank Poe, GWCC executive director.

Atlanta Hall Management has looked at a second site, off Harris Street near the park, but the "Green Lot gives us the best opportunity for success," said Gary Stokan, president and CEO of the Chick-fil-A Bowl, who is steering the College Football Hall of Fame project. "This is a diamond that will add to the Georgia World Congress Center campus."

The College Football Hall of Fame is currently in South Bend, Ind.

Following the Atlanta Hall Management's vote Wednesday, the reuse of the Green Lot site would have to be approved by the General Assembly and the State Property Commission.

If the General Assembly and State Property Commission approve the deal by the summer, construction could begin on the $50 million, 50,000-square-foot Hall of Fame by August 2011, with completion by March 2013.

The GWCC's agreement with Atlanta Hall Management includes a 30-year ground lease with four five-year options, a $700,000 annual payment to offset parking revenue GWCC generates from the lot, and $75,000 annual office space lease for Atlanta Hall Management and Chick-fil-A Bowl staff in Building A.

The project would also include a 225-vehicle parking deck at the site.

"We would not have advanced it to the board if we did not believe it would benefit the GWCC," Poe said.