GHSU could be given Hall of Fame property

Tuesday, March 13, 2012 10:26 AM
Last updated Wednesday, March 14, 2012 1:40 AM
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Georgia Health Sciences University would get riverfront land formerly occupied by the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame if the Legislature honors a request by the University System of Georgia Board of Regents.

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The Regents Real Estate & Facilities Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to ask the state to transfer the former site of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame to Georgia Health Sciences University.   ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/FILE
ZACH BOYDEN-HOLMES/FILE
The Regents Real Estate & Facilities Committee voted unanimously Tuesday to ask the state to transfer the former site of the Georgia Golf Hall of Fame to Georgia Health Sciences University.

While there are no firm plans yet for the 16-acre site, GHSU President Ricardo Azziz said he can see a number of potential uses for expansion with the merger with Augusta State University, including student housing, arts, academic programs and an “innovation center.”

The Regents’ Real Estate and Facilities Committee voted unanimously Tuesday afternoon to ask the state to transfer the property to GHSU. There is a resolution pending in the Legislature to approve that transfer.

An agenda item for the regents notes that because of the type of bonds the state used to purchase the land in 1996, it cannot be sold for private development until the bonds mature in 2015.

Azziz confirmed the restriction but said public-private partnerships would still be possible.

“The overall purpose will continue to be the same, and that is to support the university’s growth,” he said. “We are not contemplating having standard commercial ventures on that property.”

The state bought the land on Reynolds Street, demolished the warehouses and landscaped lavish gardens that were to become the home of the Hall of Fame. The goal was to give visitors a taste of the scenery on the course at Augusta National Golf Club, which is only open to the public during the Masters Tournament.

Fundraising for the Hall of Fame never took off, and the state eventually abolished it. Legislators have tried to get the state to give the land to Augusta-Richmond County, but the state wouldn’t agree without covering the $6 million in 20-year bonds it issued to borrow the original purchase price.

Azziz had previously talked about using the site for a potential biotech park.

He said it could still have an “innovation center,” plus student housing and “arts initiatives that the school will be needing.”

Academic programs that do not need to be connected to either the Summerville or medical district campus could also go there.

While there will not be definitive planning until the land transfer is completed, the school aims to fund any programs or building there largely through partnerships, collaboration and philanthropy, Azziz said.

“We should certainly not sit back and just wait for the state to provide resources that we need to build those areas,” he said. “Certainly we will welcome that assistance, but we will begin to plan even in the absence of that.”

Some city leaders had envisioned a baseball park there as part of a larger development downtown. Azziz said he could not speak to those plans. But the university’s involvement could provide a “win-win” for the university and the city, he said.

“I think this is going to benefit strongly the city of Augusta, the downtown area, and will certainly benefit the new university as it develops and as it grows,” he said.

“This is an important step that the Regents have made both to show their support for the new university as well as show their support for our community.”

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Little Lamb
47263
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Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 10:45 am
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There goes the neighborhood.

There goes the neighborhood.

Little Lamb
47263
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Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 10:47 am
1
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It is too bad Walter Jones

It is too bad Walter Jones did not do a little research and find that the Georgia General Assembly passed a resolution stating that the State Properties Commission auction the property off to the highest bidder. If they would just do what the General Assembly ordered the state could pay off those bond holders and some private enterprise could get going on the property.

Sweet son
10786
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Sweet son 03/13/12 - 12:06 pm
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0
If the BOR actually gets the

If the BOR actually gets the property what will it be called? The Axxix Hall of Fame.

my.voice
4930
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my.voice 03/13/12 - 12:36 pm
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2
My response is in

My response is in binary..........

0100101101101001011011100110011100100000010000010111101 0011010010111101001111010001000000111001101101000011000 010110110001101100001000000110011101100101011101000010 00000111011101101000011000010111010000100000011010000 11001010010000001110111011000010110111001110100011100 110010111000100000010010000110010100100000011010010111001 10010000001100111011011110110100101101110011001110010000 00111010001101111001000000111001001110101011010010110111 00010000001110100011010000110010100100000010000110110100 101110100011110010010000001101111011001100010000001000 0010111010101100111011101010111001101110100011000010 010000001100100011011110110100101101110011001110010000 0011010010111010000101100001000000110001001110101011 10100001000000110001001111001001000000111010001101000 0110010101101110001000000110100101110100001000000111 011101101001011011000110110000100000011000100110010 100100000011101000110111101101111001000000110110001 100001011101000110010100101110

countyman
20724
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countyman 03/13/12 - 02:14 pm
4
3
An research park,

An research park, restaurants, student housing, multi-use facility, residential, retail, etc on the riverfront...

This is the best news in a while for Augusta.

dichotomy
34745
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dichotomy 03/13/12 - 02:44 pm
2
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Wait.....I thought the ball

Wait.....I thought the ball park was the multi-use facility. I'm so confused.

And countyman....where did you get research park, multi-use facility, retail, etc. out of "a resolution requesting the 16 acres, but its stated reason is vague."

Ball Park - Bus Facility - Kroger - Wal-Mart - Hall of Fame. I don't know whether someone should be hollering "checkmate", "crown me", or "foul ball".

countyman
20724
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countyman 03/13/12 - 03:10 pm
0
0
GHSU has already expressed

GHSU has already expressed plans for an research park and student housing.. Neither Jim Jacoby or Cal Ripken have went anywhere(residential, retail, restaurants, multi-use facility)...

How is the Kroger, Walmart, or bus depot related to the GGHF property??

Little Lamb
47263
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Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 03:47 pm
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Gazoo is doing the same thing

Gazoo is doing the same thing that Ripken and Jacoby did — asking a governmental agency to give it something.

Right on
210
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Right on 03/13/12 - 03:48 pm
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If the base ballers do not

If the base ballers do not get it, it would be a much higher and better use to benefit all our citizens. Go GSHU/ASU

Little Lamb
47263
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Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 03:51 pm
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A lot of people violate the

A lot of people violate the tenth commandment.

countyman
20724
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countyman 03/13/12 - 04:09 pm
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5
Dr. Azziz, Jim Jacoby, and

Dr. Azziz, Jim Jacoby, and Cal Ripken are all working together in order to build something for Augusta.. Jim Jacoby has absolutely nothing to do with the game of baseball..

An multi-use facility, retail, restaurants, and residential would have greater use from local citizens.. The research park, and students housing really only affects GHSU students/faculty..

Little Lamb
47263
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Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 04:36 pm
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There is a potential conflict

There is a potential conflict here. The article has this quote:

The regents agree in the resolution not to do anything that would change the tax-exempt income on the bonds for investors who own them.

If they put in retail stores, restaurants, for-profit housing, etc., the bonds would lose their tax-exempt status.

Little Lamb
47263
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Little Lamb 03/13/12 - 04:37 pm
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Wow! They just changed the

Wow! They just changed the whole article in a flash!

Tom Corwin
10157
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Tom Corwin 03/13/12 - 05:27 pm
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Little Lamb, The story was

Little Lamb,

The story was updated to reflect a conversation with Dr. Azziz about potential uses of the site. As for the commercial usage, the agenda item for the Board of Regents contained some background that said because the state used General Obligation bonds to purchase the land it could not be used for anything "that would constitute private usage." That is their take on it, anyway. As the story notes, Azziz believes there could still be "public-private" ventures there but he does not foresee conventional commercial development. Thanks for your interest.

Iwannakno
1533
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Iwannakno 03/13/12 - 06:15 pm
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0
countyman says "Dr. Azziz,
Unpublished

countyman says "Dr. Azziz, Jim Jacoby, and Cal Ripken are all working together in order to build something for Augusta."

I say "yep a taxpayer funded fiasco that (like the TEE center) will cost us everything and have no payback at all." I will say it again (especially for the non tax paying renters that want to spend someone else's money) if it's a wonderful idea let them build it with their own dang money. It will be just like the TEE center...or should I say the Marriott Center?

corgimom
34681
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corgimom 03/13/12 - 07:04 pm
3
0
Sit back, folks, and watch

Sit back, folks, and watch the humongous battle forming between Azziz and Deke. This is going to be better than any soap opera on tv.

Who will win? Azziz, Deke, or someone else?

We are seeing some massive power plays, and the old money Hill crowd in Augusta isn't going to like a newcomer taking over.

This is gonna be good.

Willow Bailey
20603
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Willow Bailey 03/13/12 - 10:00 pm
2
0
Hopefully, GHSU will be

Hopefully, GHSU will be granted ownership and block the city slickers from more of their schemes; at least one or two of them. We need to keep GHSU happy and I doubt they are very happy right now.

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 10:10 pm
2
0
Yep, I've been saying forever

Yep, I've been saying forever the key to reviving Augusta is ASU-GHSU. It can bring foot traffic, jobs, residents and state funded law enforcement to the city. It can change the face of the city in a positive way.

rmwardsr
525
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rmwardsr 03/13/12 - 10:10 pm
0
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The land will go to GHSU/ASU,

The land will go to GHSU/ASU, which will be renamed UGA-Augusta. What everyone is forgetting, and appropiately so it has taken a back burner, is the GHSU campus in Athens. I am waiting for Michael Adams, the president of UGA to come crawling out of the woodworks on this. This is what it boils down to: Azziz was the hit man for Adams, Bloodworth was the fall guy. Once this all said and done Azziz will be relegated to a role of figurehead with very little power, while Michael Adams gloats over his new empire. I may be wrong, but ASU is having very little say in this merger. GHSU is dictating all the changes. Azziz has already taken over the President's office at ASU, so he plans to rule from the hill, for now. Hide and watch, because I am sure a lot of jaws will drop as this thing pans out.

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 10:18 pm
1
0
RMWardSr, I don't see that.

RMWardSr, I don't see that. UGA has no authority over ASU. The satellite campus in Athens is going to turn into an independent medical school, but it's going to take it decades to be anything like GHSU. Look at MUSC and the USC Med. School. One is one of the best in the country and the other one of the worst.

countyman
20724
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countyman 03/13/12 - 10:45 pm
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0
There's no way GHSU can

There's no way GHSU can develop the entire GGHF site without any significant help from private investors.. The Fatmans property is sitting empty, GHSU has big plans for the Walmart deal, and now 17 acres on the riverfront... The university is already raising millions in order to help build the Medical Educational Commons due to lack of state funding.. GHSU must attract large investors, because alumni & the state of GA won't be enough..

I think Azziz using phrases such as public-private, win-win for city and university, philanthropy, etc is key..

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 10:43 pm
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What Azziz is talking about

What Azziz is talking about is private research money. It certainly could help GHSU tremendously. We get few research dollars now.

countyman
20724
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countyman 03/13/12 - 11:05 pm
0
0
Additional NIH funds won't

Additional NIH funds won't come unless GHSU continues to expand(i.e biotech/innovative center/park)...

Do you really think GHSU can develop the entire property with alumni and state funding??

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 10:59 pm
0
0
It's not at all uncommon for

It's not at all uncommon for research money to be used to build facilities in conjunction with the institutions. I'm not only talking about NIH funding, but also from private companies which provide funding also.

countyman
20724
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countyman 03/13/12 - 11:06 pm
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''An agenda item for the

''An agenda item for the regents notes that because of the type of bonds the state used to purchase the land in 1996, it cannot be sold for private development until the bonds mature in 2015. Azziz confirmed the restriction but said public-private partnerships would still be possible on the site.''

Why is he using terms such as public-private partnerships? If he actually thinks GHSU can rely simply on their alumni or state funding..

You can't expect to attract private companies or researchers without an significant amount of NIH funding..

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 11:09 pm
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0
Just speaking of the

Just speaking of the Foundation, that organization has lots of resources. It's not just an alumni organization. They have been given massive gifts in various ways. Radio station magnates have left them everything. The Kroger property was given to them. Really, they can do a lot.

I believe to think they can't finance their expansions is not reasonable.

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 11:13 pm
0
0
Well, it looks like we are

Well, it looks like we are going to find out what they are going to do with the land because they are going to get it. They won't compromise anything with businesses not congruent with GHSU. This area will be policed by them as is all their property. So we will see. Dr. Azziz is thinking big is my view.

Riverman1
87512
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Riverman1 03/13/12 - 11:17 pm
0
0
I'm still wonderng about the

I'm still wonderng about the new name. Before I was thinking it would be ASU and the GHSU part simply add ASU above their name. Now it seems like Dr. Azziz is talking about something completely new. It will be interesting.

Craig Spinks
817
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Craig Spinks 03/14/12 - 03:08 am
0
0
Georgia Health Sciences and

Georgia Health Sciences and State University at Augusta or

Georgia Health Sciences & State University-Augusta

Techfan
6461
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Techfan 03/14/12 - 05:02 am
0
0
Southern Health and Former

Southern Health and Former Terms University

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