ATLANTA, Ga – A former state representative was one of five people arrested Monday night at Georgia State University.
Douglas Dean and four others were arrested during a sit-in outside University president Dr. Mark Becker’s office.
University police said the arrests were made around 9 pm.
The protestors are demanding the school sign a community benefits agreement with surrounding neighborhoods regarding plans to redevelop Turner Field and adjacent properties. They say such an agreement would give them a voice into how the properties that sit next to their communities are developed.
Earlier this month, residents from Mechanicsville camped overnight outside Turner Field, calling for the university to sign a similar agreement.
Georgia State only acquired the stadium in January after purchasing it for $22.8 million, and began construction in February. The university is retrofitting the baseball stadium into a football stadium for the Panthers.
Georgia State is currently in phase one of its plan for the stadium, which means downsizing it to 23,000 seats while ultimately getting the stadium to a usable state to play football in. Phase one will be completed prior to the team's home opener on Aug. 31 against Tennessee State.
Phase two will be the following year and includes building out the rest of the stadium and adding more seats.
Construction to build new student housing is expected to begin later this year. Scott Taylor, the developer with Carter helping Georgia State, is hoping to begin re-purposing some of the existing buildings on the 68-acre site as early as this summer.
The remainder of the property could be developed by Georgia State into a project that could grow to as much as 1.5 million square feet of office space, 700,000 square feet of commercial and retail space, 625 hotel rooms, some 2,750 apartment units, and 50 single-family homes.
Protestors say affordable housing is become more and more scarce, and income inequality is increasing.