Convention center expansion continues

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With nine months of construction to go, the expansion of the downtown Augusta convention center is moving out toward Reynolds Street.

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The TEE Center construction site, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, in Augusta, Ga.    Rainier Ehrhardt/staff
Rainier Ehrhardt/staff
The TEE Center construction site, Tuesday, Aug. 30, 2011, in Augusta, Ga.

The $38 million, 40,000 square foot expansion, dubbed the trade, exhibit and event (TEE) center, is on target to be finished in the summer of 2012.

The 12 million, 650-space parking deck across the street, a part of the TEE Center project, should be ready next month.

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Riverman1
98845
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Riverman1 08/30/11 - 08:08 pm
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The originally scheduled

The originally scheduled completion was for the spring. Is there a particular reason it's now later? Also, 38+12= 50.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/30/11 - 08:24 pm
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Riverman, is there a reason

Riverman, is there a reason why there has been no ground breaking on that shovel-ready Hyatt Place Hotel? Is there a good reason why this thing is costing 3 times more than what voters were told it would?

Riverman1
98845
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Riverman1 08/30/11 - 08:28 pm
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Emerydan, there is such a

Emerydan, there is such a rush of organizations trying to rent the TEE that they are not going to build the hotel to keep the crowds down. By the way, the voters approved only $20 million. This is costing 50 million plus another 50 mil for Laney Walker. I'm beginning to see what Mayor Copenhaver-Boardman means by this creative financing he says he is capable of.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/30/11 - 09:13 pm
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actually River man, when you

actually River man, when you add in the parking deck and the operating subsidy.. The TEE is costing $67.5 million.. that's before you add in the $37.5 million for The Laney-Walker Bethlehem thing.. you know where there building homes at a cost of $300,000 or more that will sell realistically for about a third of that.

Riverman1
98845
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Riverman1 08/30/11 - 09:31 pm
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Emerydan, that creative

Emerydan, that creative financing throws my math off every time.

DowntownJaguar
129
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DowntownJaguar 08/30/11 - 10:17 pm
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Where does countyman stand on

Where does countyman stand on all this?

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/30/11 - 10:59 pm
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candyman probably thinks its

candyman probably thinks its fantastic the city spent 5 times what it was initially supposed to spend.. because we all know he thinks there is a magical money tree that grows somewhere in Augusta .. I believe it is reportedly supposed to be off Lover's Lane behind Olin.. this money tree provides an unlimited supply of cash to fund whatever boondoggle the cabal can dream up.

countyman
22224
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countyman 08/30/11 - 10:47 pm
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In the other thread somebody

In the other thread somebody said they supported the Andy Cheeks canal idea.. I think someone should look in the mirror before acccusing anybody in the belief of a money tree.

While you can argue about the final cost of the project.. The TEE center, parking deck(commercial/retail space), and Laney Walker/Bethlehem redevelopment were all needed.. More homes are being sold in the Laney Walker neighborhood than orginally anticipated.. The TEE center incorporated the abandoned cotton warehouse into the design..

I'm positive the Kroc Center, TEE center, Laney Walker/Bethlehem judicial center, library, and parking deck are stronger together than without one of them. The Red Star mix use building along 9th street/James Brown Boulevard(btw the library & judicial center) was recently renovated(4 apts/commercial space).. The city won two grants equlaing $850k grant to help out 9th street(new sidewalks, lights, etc) The $1.2 million project streches the CBD into the Laney Walker neighborhood. The Judicial Center parking lot expansion(200 spaces) along Walker street break ground soon next to the Red Star building and 9th street. In the future people can ride down 9th street in the CBD to the LW neighborhood. They'll notice the TEE center, parking deck, library, and judicial center in the CBD. Along with the nice streetscape and the beautiful homes, townhomes, renovated Dyess Park in Laney Walker. It's not a coincidence the gas station at the corner of 9th/Walton way is no longer bum central.

Little Lamb
50687
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Little Lamb 08/30/11 - 10:44 pm
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Countyman wrote The Judicial

Countyman wrote

The Judicial Center parking lot expansion(200 spaces) along Walker street break ground soon next to the Red Star building and 9th street.

Didn't Joni Mitchell have a good song about this sad condition? What Augusta needs is not more asphalt parking lots. Such parking lots cause more flooding in areas such as Hyde Park and East Boundary. Augusta needs to grow up! It does not need to sprawl with more and more asphalt parking lots. High-rise apartments and tall parking decks are more environmentally responsible than detached homes and paving paradise.

countyman
22224
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countyman 08/30/11 - 10:46 pm
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LL.. We both agree large

LL.. We both agree large parking lots have no place in the downtown and inner city area. The mayor said the city was looking at building a parking garage in the judicial center area.. They need to go ahead and build the parking deck.

Little Lamb
50687
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Little Lamb 08/30/11 - 10:53 pm
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countyman wrote: The mayor

countyman wrote:

The mayor said the city was looking at building a parking garage in the judicial center area.

The mayor is irrelevant.

That reminds me of the time when the Pope was criticizing atrocities committed by Josef Stalin against the people of Russia after World War II. Stalin replied, “The Pope? How many divisions does he command?” The mayor of Augusta is not worth a bucket of warm spit.

Brad Owens
5068
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Brad Owens 08/31/11 - 04:13 am
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The TEE is a sham. This could

The TEE is a sham. This could have been built for far less money and everyone knows it.

Here is a little math for ya, 38,000,000.00/40,000=950

That is $950.00 per square foot!

This is an absolute bilking of our tax dollars by these people. Then add in the $500,000.00 per year we pay them to operate it, then add in the bribe to the other side of the tracks, and it gets so outrageous that is boggles the mind how these things get done.

The canal idea is 1,000% better at 40% of the costs. At least people would get use of a canal if nothing more than a public urinal, oh wait, I forgot we already have plenty of those along Broad in the entrances of the empty buildings. As the youth would say, 'my bad!"

TEE is a sham.

Given the number of years this has now obligated our city; it enslaves us to these people by sinking every single Hotel-Motel tax dollar in this certain area for over 50 years, TEE, Totally Enslaving Everyone!

This is the CABAL at its best no doubt.

Mr. MAson and Bill Locket should revisit this issue and maybe get a better deal. An audit of the TEE Center building fund and the laney Walker slush fund needs to be on the table too.

$950 per square foot indeed!

Why are we in this handbasket? Where are we going? WHEW! someone turn on the air please...

Brad

virgilkane
417
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virgilkane 08/31/11 - 08:32 am
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It will be nice to finally

It will be nice to finally have some convenient parking downtown. That deck can't open soon enough. It's been hell trying to find a parking spot downtown lately with all the construction.

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/31/11 - 10:46 am
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Does anyone know who got the

Does anyone know who got the construction contract for the TEE center at this outrageous price tage of $950 per square foot? I hear he may be running for congress soon.

Vito45
-2
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Vito45 08/31/11 - 11:01 am
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What about the parking deck?

What about the parking deck? That works out to $18,451.00 PER SPACE!!

That thing will be crumbling and in ruins before they collect enough parking feees to even begin to offset the cost. Oh I know; the $1000/ sq ft Tee center is going to make enough to offset it.........

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 08/31/11 - 11:11 am
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Countyman, we have had our

Countyman, we have had our differences, but how would one get involved with bringing outside industry into Richmond County? Please contact me at atctaylorb@yahoo.com. I will even let someone else take credit, lets just get this town working again. Thanks.

Riverman1
98845
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 11:27 am
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Know what I'm convinced could

Know what I'm convinced could change the face of Augusta? Artificial rapids. I live on the river and can attest to the popularity of kayaking. If we had a course here like some cities on rivers have built we could draw tourists from everywhere and the businesses to support them. Our river is perfect for that.

Riverman1
98845
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 11:30 am
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The closer it gets to the TEE

The closer it gets to the TEE opening and the lack of scheduled events becomes more obvious the more we realize this was a monumental $100 million failure.

Little Lamb
50687
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Little Lamb 08/31/11 - 11:52 am
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First, thewizOoz wrote: With

First, thewizOoz wrote:

With a critical mass if we can leverage on it and get to a state of collaboration we offer a unique diversity found in few communities.

Then, lxhua responded:

He would rather discard some economic benefits, they persist in the world Shoes Strong and collaborative enterprise, in cooperation with the process of understanding and learning what they need, through intelligence, leveraging, an occasion to develop.

These guys think alike.

countyman
22224
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countyman 08/31/11 - 11:59 am
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Actually I told Mrs. Davis

Actually I told Mrs. Davis what draws young people to neighborhoods.

Emeraydan.. I live in the heart of the city(CDB) while downtown continues to make a comeback. I clearly think I'm walking the walk..

tomcasey
-2
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tomcasey 08/31/11 - 11:55 am
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Nice large numbers for these

Nice large numbers for these projects, 950 dollars a square foot for the convention center and 20,000 dollars for a parking space, how much for a toilet seat?

This just sounds like greed and graft too me.

So I guess the real questions should be how about a good independent audit into the funding for this project as well as an independent investigation into how contracts were awarded in Augusta Richmond County for any type of service.

Of course with the present incumbents (the Mayor and his stooges) having a desire to keep their dirt laundry behind closed doors this will never happen but of course we can dream.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 08/31/11 - 11:58 am
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All I can do is extend the

All I can do is extend the olive branch. If I have to do this alone, that is fine as well.

countyman
22224
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countyman 08/31/11 - 12:00 pm
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Taylor B. Please check your

Taylor B. Please check your email in 10-15 minutes.

Taylor B
5
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Taylor B 08/31/11 - 12:08 pm
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Thank you sir/ma'am

Thank you sir/ma'am

Emerydan
10
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Emerydan 08/31/11 - 12:16 pm
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Riverman.. remember Andy

Riverman.. remember Andy Cheek proposed turning the third level of the canal into a public white water kayak course.. it's land the city owns and would be a public resource/park. But instead we have tied up all of out splost dollars and hotel-motel taxes in expensive boondoggles like The TEE Center and before that the failed Golf and Gardens, Fort Discovery, etc etc.. they keep making the same mistakes and ignore the things that really would have a positive impact. That's the problem with Augusta. You have this little cabal making all of these decisions of how to spend our tax money on "their" pet projects. If you don't have the $6,000 membership fee to join their little club and get in their inner circle, your ideas and suggestions are just ignored.

Brad Owens
5068
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Brad Owens 08/31/11 - 12:24 pm
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Tomcasey said, "This just

Tomcasey said, "This just sounds like greed and graft too me."

That is because it IS Sir. It is.

Riverman1
98845
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Riverman1 08/31/11 - 12:25 pm
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Emerydan, yeah, I remember

Emerydan, yeah, I remember that about the canal and the whitewater course. I also know it's a lost cause with money only going to cabal projects. I can wish and throw the idea out once again and somebody, somewhere, someday may remember and bring it to fruition. Maybe when Marion Williams is back on the commission (perish the thought) it can be called whitewater drag racing and we can get it going.

Brad Owens
5068
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Brad Owens 08/31/11 - 12:44 pm
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Emerydan said, "... (T)hey

Emerydan said, "... (T)hey keep making the same mistakes and ignore the things that really would have a positive impact"

You are wrong Sir, there is no "mistake" here, and it is exactly like the CABAL wants it.

These projects, to include the jail, were all big money makers for certain companies and certain families.

So no, these were not mistakes, they are all calculated business choices and direct manipulation of the public coffers by the CABAL.

They just looooove a public funded project that they can pump up prices on, make change orders on and profit in a HUGE way off of our backs.

These folks are the largest receivers of welfare the county has ever seen and yet we consider them "business" leaders.

Greed, deception and abuse of power is their plan, and they ALWAYS get their way. Always.

They will get the stadium too, just wait and see.

Brad

Little Lamb
50687
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Little Lamb 08/31/11 - 12:49 pm
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Surely there is enough public

Surely there is enough public pushback to stop the stadium. I hope.

Brad Owens
5068
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Brad Owens 08/31/11 - 01:05 pm
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LL, Has public 'push back'

LL,

Has public 'push back' ever stopped the CABAL before?

The only time I can ever think of when the CABAL has lost to the will of the people is when the SPLOST vote put the 'Billy Barn' on a sep line item.

Otherwise, they always get what they want.

Fred will be sure to provide the 'creative' options to avoid public votes and direct imput.

The CABAL will always win because they have the money, the power and the elected officials.

The ball park will happen. The deal has been cut so it seems. Remember the DDA and parking meters? The commission gave the DDA authority over the parking enforcement downtown even with everyone, and I mmean EVERYONE pushing aainst it.

Brad

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