North Augusta man suing city served with second suit involving Project Jackson

Stephen Donohue speaks about concerns during a public hearing on the revised Tax Increment Financing District, which would be used to help fund Project Jackson, at the North Augusta Municipal Building in 2013. Donohue is being sued by North Augusta Riverfront Company LLC, over the hampering of a property sale they say caused a profit loss due to Donohue's current lawsuit against the city.

 

The North Augusta resident suing the city and claiming that Project Jackson violates state financing laws is now being sued himself over the riverfront development.

North Augusta Riverfront Company LLC, the developer of the Hammonds Ferry neighborhood, claims that Stephen Donohue’s lawsuit against the city hampered a property sale, causing profit losses and other unnamed damages. The suit was filed May 30 in Aiken County.

The lawsuit doesn’t state an amount in damages the company is seeking.

Donohue, who lives in the River Club neighborhood near Hammonds Ferry and opposes the site for a proposed Augusta GreenJackets stadium, filed his suit in December. He says the ordinance passed by the North Augusta City Council to help fund the $144 million development violates the state’s tax increment financing law because there was no evidence to support the area as blighted, a requirement for a TIF district.

In its suit, North Augusta Riverfront Company said Donohue sued “with the intent, purpose and motive of halting and/or delaying Project Jackson ... with no realistic expectation of prevailing on the merits.”

The developer was seeking to sell a “substantial portion” of the 45-acre Project Jackson site to Greenstone Enterprises Inc. to develop the ballpark, the suit says. Because of Donohue’s lawsuit, the sale has not been finalized.

Project Jackson was revealed in December 2012 as a public-private development between the city and Greenstone Properties. In addition to a new GreenJackets stadium, the plan calls for a resort-style hotel and conference center, restaurants, townhomes, apartments and retail and office space.

Donohue’s lawsuit against North Augusta is scheduled to go to trial July 18.

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