Retail firming up in stadium development, council told

About two-thirds of the retail space in Riverside Village at Hammond’s Ferry is reserved, or about to be, city officials said after a study session Monday night.

 

The city’s Owner’s Representative, James Dean, told City Council members that the developer’s “primary focus” right now was to get the Center Street corridor between the stadium and hotel – “the hottest center for retail” – filled with restaurants and other elements that complement the ballpark experience in time for opening day.

He characterized ongoing retail efforts in terms of “pending contracts that are in negotiation.” The council discussed the specifics in an executive session Monday night, but did not make any announcements after it ended. Some members said they expected to be able to say more soon.

The stadium is set to open in April, a deadline Dean said the developer was “still on track” to make.

“We’re in good shape to deliver on time,” he said. “Issues continue to present themselves, but we continue to go forward.”

Otherwise, during a general update, Dean said:

• The Crowne Plaza hotel will start construction in September and will be ready by the end of 2018.

• Construction on the hotel and stadium parking decks is expected to begin soon. Both are expected to be finished in 2018.

• The home run porch in right field, with upper- and lower-level restaurants and an outdoor seating area, will be ready for opening day.

• The Clubhouse building’s areas for team offices and locker rooms should be ready as well, Dean said, but the apartments might not be finished.

• The townhome/retail development across Railroad Avenue from the hotel will begin construction in October or November and should be finished around July 2018. Interest from buyers and tenants has been high, Dean said.

• Single family residences near the ballpark – some of them facing the river – will begin being built in October and will be largely complete by the end of 2018. They will be developed by local builders, Dean said. Buyers would purchase them from those builders.

• Foundations are in for the large apartment building between the stadium and Hammond’s Ferry.

Reach James Folker at (706) 823-3338 or james.folker@augustachronicle.com.

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