One of the less-successful venues from the 1996 Atlanta Olympics is the former tennis stadium. The site sits, unused, in Stone Mountain. But now it may get a new life, thanks to a land swap deal.
Gwinnett County will buy about 35 acres near Stone Mountain Park in DeKalb for about $1.2 million. Then Gwinnett will exchange the property for the deed to the tennis venue, which is held by the Stone Mountain Memorial Association.
Gwinnett County Commission chair Charlotte Nash says the county will take bids from all kinds of developers interested in the property. She says because it hasn’t been kept up, the tennis stadium will likely come down.
“There’s not another reuse of it, even if we were willing to spend the kind of money that it would take to put it into operating condition,” Nash said. “It just makes much more sense to demolish the building.”
The venue is run-down. The stadium is locked behind a chain-link fence. Grass and weeds are growing through cracks in the cement courts. There have been a few attempts to keep the complex going, but none have been financially viable, Nash said. The center sits on an abandoned stretch of land not far from Stone Mountain Park, right near the DeKalb and Gwinnett county line.
“It is the gateway to Gwinnett,” says Jim Brooks, executive director of the Evermore Community Improvement District. The CID covers the southern part of Gwinnett County. Brooks said redeveloping the property could impact the rest of Gwinnett.
“If we had something there that said, ‘You are now entering Gwinnett,’ that’s what we’re really striving for,” he said.
Brooks says a strong "anchor" on the property – whatever that may be – could lead to further development in that part of the county.