North Augusta city officials postponed a public hearing on a funding proposal for a $160 million development that included a new baseball stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets, a decision that comes about a week after Aiken County Council voted against helping finance the project.
According to a news release, city officials are meeting with developers this week to discuss alternatives and determine what’s next for Project Jackson. The city had scheduled a public hearing for March 18 but decided not to hold it after a closed-door meeting Monday night.
The Aiken County school board was to consider extending the length of a tax increment financing district at tonight’s meeting, but the item was removed from the agenda. The Aiken County Council voted against extending the TIF district last week.
North Augusta city officials said they remain optimistic.
“We continue to be excited about the proposed project and we are hopeful that we can work with the developers to put together a plan that the County and the School District will not only approve, but actually embrace, as a positive step forward for the City and the entire county,” city administrator Todd Glover said in a news release.
The proposed development includes a stadium, a 200-room resort-style hotel and conference center; up to four restaurants; 75 townhouses; 225 apartments; 30,000 square feet of retail space; 40,000 square feet of office space; and 900 parking spaces.
Under the proposal, the city would have been responsible for about 30 percent of the financing, about $43 million for the sports and entertainment center, conference center and parking garage. In exchange, private developers promised $122 million in investment for the hotel, retail, residential and office space, officials said.
To come up with its portion of the financing, North Augusta would collect property taxes through the TIF district – meaning it would get tax revenue on the incremental difference between rising property values and values for Aiken County, which would remain frozen at 1996 levels for 30 years.