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North Augusta to reveal 'Project Jackson' details

Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 1:50 PM
Last updated Saturday, Dec. 15, 2012 1:55 AM
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North Augusta officials say they’ll disclose Wednes­day the details of “Project Jackson,” a proposed major, multiuse riverfront project widely rumored to include a new stadium for the Augusta GreenJackets.

North Augusta City Ad­min­­istrator Todd Glover said the announcement comes in response to rampant speculation and concern about a project that some area residents believe is up for final approval at Monday’s North Augusta City Council meeting.

A third reading of a land development agreement that provides for an extended timeline in the event Project Jackson comes to fruition does go before the council Monday, but the measure will require public approval before advancing, with details of that process and a timeline to be released Wednesday, Glover said.

“There will be opportunities for public input, but there will not be a referendum,” he said. “We’re putting the details out, saying, ‘Here are the details, and if you don’t like it, that’s OK.’ ”

Neither Glover, May­or Lark Jones, City Coun­cilman Arthur Shealy nor Ham­mond’s Ferry developer Turner Simkins would deny that Project Jackson involves a facility suitable for minor league baseball, of the type that GreenJackets’ owner Ripken Baseball has long sought to replace Lake Olmstead Stadium in Augusta.

The 44-acre site adjoins Hammond’s Ferry at the 13th Street-Georgia Avenue bridge, diagonally across the Savannah River from the 17-acre former Georgia Golf Hall of Fame tract, where Augusta Mayor Deke Copenhaver sought, until its transfer to Georgia Health Sciences University, to build a multipurpose stadium for the GreenJackets.

Simkins, who served on Copenhaver’s stadium steering committee, denied being “a participant” in any North Augusta baseball-specific discussions but said the
development of a town-center style complex at the
riverbank was long in the making and long a part of Hammond’s Ferry’s development plans.

“Hammond’s Ferry is designed to be around the town center,” he said, and the development “is going to be the single nucleus of North Augusta.”

What is in the works will complement the 200-acre new urbanist-style Hammond’s Ferry, nearly half of which is dedicated to greenspace, but will become a major attraction, “the only urban destination on the Savannah River that truly is a public destination,” he said.

Jeff Eiseman, the Ripken vice president of sales and marketing and a longtime participant in Augusta’s stadium initiative, also hasn’t denied the baseball stadium rumors. Eiseman promised “lots of things to announce” connected to the club this week but did not return phone calls Thursday or Friday.

The development allows for construction of a parking deck and will involve numerous parties including Aiken County and the Aiken County schools, Glover said. Project Jackson developers will be introduced to the public Wednesday, he said.

The agreement locks in zoning at the site and provides for North Augusta to complete a road and a riverwalk-style park on the water’s edge, whether Project Jackson occurs or not.

One of two city council members to vote against the agreement, Shealy said it gives Hammond’s Ferry too much leverage over the city and is insufficient to govern the arrival of Project Jackson, which he said “will be several degrees of magnitude greater” than the document indicates.

IF YOU GO

WHAT: “Major Multi-Use Development Proposal” announcement

WHEN: 7:15 a.m. Wednesday

WHERE: North Augusta Community Center

COST: $15 for non-chamber members

RSVP: Call North Augusta Chamber of Commerce by 5 p.m. Monday at (803) 279-2323

Comments (58) Add comment
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csrareader
1288
Points
csrareader 12/14/12 - 01:56 pm
9
5
I'm glad to see someone in

I'm glad to see someone in the area understands the potential value of a new stadium. This will be a major loss for downtown Augusta.

David Parker
7923
Points
David Parker 12/14/12 - 02:21 pm
6
6
They are gonna mug you for

They are gonna mug you for it, but I agree. If you're gonna have a minor-league team in town for this long, develop it. The Olmstead stadium was great and I've got alot of memories. Now I want to take the next step and be dazzled by a new stadium.

To be fair, I think the real issue wasn't that a downtown stadium was categorically a stupid endeavor, just the use of public funds to build it.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 12/14/12 - 02:43 pm
2
12
If ''Project Jackson''

If ''Project Jackson'' requires voter approval, and even possibly a referendum. Then public funds will still be use in some kind of form.

The same thing happens in metro Augusta constantly. The TEE Center is a bad idea, but Columbia County follows behind with their exhibition hall.

Don't give tax breaks to Costco, but no problem with Columbia County giving tax breaks to Bojangles.

The stadium is this horrible idea, but now it's okay due to the change of location.

The city of Augusta desperately needs to build a larger arena. I bet will hear comments like Augusta can't support it or we don't need one. Then Columbia County will probably try to build one near I-20.

dwb619
104229
Points
dwb619 12/14/12 - 03:04 pm
9
2
Project Jackson

As I have said earlier, I don't think the city of North Augusta has a large enough tax base to finance this project.

MarinerMan
2107
Points
MarinerMan 12/14/12 - 03:27 pm
6
1
What Exhibition Hall and Tax Breaks to Bojangles ?
Unpublished

I must've missed a whole bunch ! What are you talking about?

allhans
24886
Points
allhans 12/14/12 - 03:42 pm
8
2
I think it will be a huge

I think it will be a huge boost for Augusta. On the riverfront? How can you lose.
...A large number of stadiums across the country are located near a state boundary. Both states benefit.

omnomnom
3964
Points
omnomnom 12/14/12 - 04:30 pm
9
1
put a pedestrian bridge

put a pedestrian bridge across to make it even easier for augustans to access the stadium (if its approved by N. Aug. voters) {read the fine print PLEASE, Ripken never committed to spending $X on the one slated for the G-N-G}

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 12/14/12 - 04:40 pm
9
2
Bojangles equals

Bojangles equals Costco....LOL. No wonder some have problems with Augusta.

dwb619
104229
Points
dwb619 12/14/12 - 05:02 pm
5
0
pedestrian bridge

Seems as if I remember the city of Augusta proposing a pedestrian bridge from the area of 15th Street, to tie into the Greenway in North Augusta.The city of North Augusta put the ki-bosh on it.

soitgoes
900
Points
soitgoes 12/14/12 - 05:29 pm
9
5
like a playground see-saw

As Augusta sinks lower and lower (election results come to mind), North Augusta continues its rise. If nothing else, this reflects the difference in VISION and LEADERSHIP between the two communities. GO NA, GO!!!

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 12/14/12 - 05:35 pm
3
3
DWB619, I remembered that

DWB619, I remembered that too, but didn't want to say anything. Maybe NA has changed its mind and will now allow the pedestrian bridge. I hope so. I believe Augusta was going to pay for it when it was last proposed.

allhans
24886
Points
allhans 12/14/12 - 06:23 pm
5
0
Can a pedestrian bridge be

Can a pedestrian bridge be designed as a drawbridge. :)))

dwb619
104229
Points
dwb619 12/14/12 - 06:26 pm
9
0
controls

I suppose, if the controls are on the North Augusta side.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 12/14/12 - 06:39 pm
2
11
Mariner Man.. The exhibition

Mariner Man.. I guess the next time you should keep your eyes open so you don't get left behind.

The exhibition hall is located at the Gateway development in Grovetown...

The Bojangles in Martinez opened along South Belair rd in the year 2011 I believe.

I don't remember anybody saying both Costco and Bojangles were equal.. That's what made the remarks about Costco even more confusing too me.. There's only one Costco in the entire state of Georgia outside of metro Atlanta, and it's located in West Augusta. The Costco was a $17-$22 million development, and will help bring amenities(Home Goods & NCG Cinemas) not presently in Augusta. People made a big deal about Costco, and it's going to do much more for metro Augusta compared to Bojangles.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 12/14/12 - 06:41 pm
3
14
Soitgoes.. There's a $172

Soitgoes.. There's a $172 million Starbucks, $115 million Rockwood, Residential Inn by Marriott, Home2Suites by Hilton, $76 Medical Commons, etc under construction right now Augusta..

I know the sky is always falling in Augusta, but let's be real. North Augusta can't even compare versus West Augusta in terms of new construction let alone Augusta.

willd
27
Points
willd 12/14/12 - 06:56 pm
10
2
Lights out!

With the stadium moving across the river it can truly be said that it continues to get darker and darker in Richmond County!

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 12/14/12 - 07:04 pm
6
1
"The stadium is this horrible

"The stadium is this horrible idea, but now it's okay due to the change of location."

I'd look hard to see if there is a message to yourself there.

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 12/14/12 - 07:12 pm
8
1
I wonder about the "Why's

I wonder about the "Why's everybody always picking on Augusta" message under THIS story? The whole CSRA is in this together. If N. Augusta thrives, Augusta will feel the ripples, too.

augusta citizen
10021
Points
augusta citizen 12/14/12 - 07:48 pm
4
2
N. Augusta, don't!!!

Don't do it!

Gage Creed
19403
Points
Gage Creed 12/14/12 - 07:53 pm
5
2
I can almost see the

I can almost see the soup-coolers pooched out and arms crossed across the chest....we didn't want your old stadium any how!

And guess what....if this "multi-use" facility is built using public funding...it's still a bad idea.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 12/14/12 - 09:44 pm
1
7
Wild.. Georgia Power is going

Wild.. Georgia Power is going to occupy 11 acres at the Augusta Corporate Park, and a wood pellet processing plant is coming to Augusta next year.

There's nothing but total sunshine in Richmond County. I hope you're not forgetting about the 17 acre GGHF site.

The question I need to ask is why Dr. Azziz needs lands in/around Harrisburg, the GGHF site, and the Medical District.

I'm still behind the idea, but the Augusta side on the river had the greater potential.

single parent
395
Points
single parent 12/14/12 - 09:54 pm
5
1
Told You So

I do remember arguing the point that Augusta is becoming a ghost town, due to its usual suspects running this city. Several long time posters said " NO AUGUSTA IS BLAH BLAH BLAH, N AUGUSTA AND COLUMBIA COUNTY ARE NOT BLAH BLAH BLAH" Hmmmmm really?
We are engulfed in that darn Tcenter and all other competition gets ran away, which are things that would actually put butts in seats or money in the city's pocket. It is like a big city drug dealer, get off of my corner or I will take you out!
Yeah we will have the Tcenter ( not even thinking about the price per room at Atlanta's prices) but when all of these supposed people show up, where are they going to go during their stay? What are they to do to keep them busy when not at the center? No clubs, park is on the other side of the county, we have that dirty river walk and that is about it.
As a former touring musician, first impression is everything and just because 8 people get to hang out with the owner it is the other 600 that are not happy! So not not carry the not, lets see that would be 8 people all warm and fuzzy and 600 ticked off. 600 tell two more, they tell two and they tell two ect...
@Riverman1 cannot thrive if everybody is in another place. I too leave the county to shop, order on line, go to actual concerts, parks and even to fish and if my property's were not already paid for I would move. $6200 a year property tax and well you know. Besides prove to me what is being done here? The youth, the old, the organizations that want to be here and venture out because of the BS they deal with concerning local government. What is on our main street besides bars, pawn shops and die hard clothing vendors? Heck man we let our college get "NOT " named Augusta whatever!
If it is such a great thriving animal then why does everyone not want to try to invest here? As stated above word of mouth and track record puts a nasty taste in folks mouths!
HEY MAN LETS GO TO AUGUSTA THEY HAVE A TCENTER! COOL MAN BOOK THE FLIGHT! NOT! ! !

Little Lamb
49080
Points
Little Lamb 12/14/12 - 11:30 pm
4
1
pedestrian bridge — we already have one

13th Street is a pedestrian bridge - - - if you're brave.

Hey, the railroad trestle at St. Paul's is a decent pedestrian bridge. It wasn't so suitable lately as a bridge for pick up trucks.

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 12/15/12 - 12:34 am
1
9
Single Parent. Do you realize

Single Parent. Do you realize Augusta ranks third in terms of visitor revenue in the state of Georgia? The Riverwalk is also the biggest attraction in the CSRA. I seriously doubt Clarks Hills even gets 200k per year. The TEE Center has absolutely nothing to do with the proposed stadium. The state of Georgia transferred the GGHF site to GHSU, and not the city of Augusta. Dr. Azziz controls the future development at the GGHF property.

If you leave Richmond County to shop, then you clearly want to. Columbia County wants to attract some type of outlet, because over 80% of their citizens said they shop outside the county(i.e Augusta). The Village at Riverwatch, Augusta Exchange, Surrey Center, and Augusta Mall are located in Richmond County. The Wheeler Town Park development is located in Richmond(a very small portion btw Carmax-Flowing Wells in CC), 25 acre proposed shopping center on Jimmie Dyess near Harper Franklin, and the 44 acres at Walton Way Extension/I-20 are located in Richmond too.

The people visiting the TEE center can attend the Saturday Market which is great, or take boat rides on the canal. The tourist might be here during one of our numerous downtown events(ESI Ironman, Hispanic festival, Arts in the Heart, Westobou, Greek festivl, etc. They can visit our future entertainment district(upgraded Imperial, renovated Miller theater) based on the performing arts center at the GGHF. Then you have the historic trolley tours, Morris Museum or Art, Augusta Museum of History, etc.

As for our main street? All of the following are either about to open or under construction except the Holiday Inn Express(begins soon)... Whiskey Bar Kitchen, Eros Bistro, Downtown Saloon, Regency Inn becoming Holiday Inn Express, 901 Broad=9 apts/4,300 sq. ft. of commercial, Farmhaus Burgers/12 apts, Sprint Food & Metro Market. etc..

countyman
21631
Points
countyman 12/15/12 - 12:44 am
1
6
I don't remember any saying

I don't remember any saying what's good for the CSRA doesn't help out Augusta. I think it's a valid question to ask. What so different about the project compared to the initial discussion on the Augusta side on the river? Where are the multiple comments mentioning don't spend tax payer money or telling Cal Ripken to build his own stadium? Where are the comments telling us how stupid the government of North Augusta is for doing this? Where are the don't build everything in downtown North Augusta?

I just think it's odd how the same few people who live in the other counties love to slam new ideas in Richmond County, but never discuss the issues where they live.

How can you convince any rational person it would make more sense to build the exhibition hall in Grovetown compared to the TEE in Augusta?

OpenCurtain
10049
Points
OpenCurtain 12/15/12 - 08:35 am
5
0
Better there than here

Instead of Augusta and the South Side paying for it and some else enjoying $Million$ of our Tax Dollars.

We now have Someone Else Paying for it, and we are the Someone Else enjoying their Tax $$$.

I like this idea.
Let's Build up North Augusta,
It cost A-RC tax payers less.

seenitB4
97594
Points
seenitB4 12/15/12 - 09:36 am
5
0
Build it North Augusta

The csra will benefit from this ....countyman you should be happy that we are happy for a new project.....:)

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 12/15/12 - 10:07 am
6
2
Difference in This Deal

The difference in this deal is instead of the entire county supporting the downtown area of Augusta funding a stadium, the small city of North Augusta, not Aiken County, will pay any public funds required. Hopefully, the demographics of N. Augusta are so much superior with higher income levels and it's such a safe place, private investors are willing to foot the bill.

...point to ponder
779
Points
...point to ponder 12/15/12 - 10:19 am
2
3
a total screw up

The lack of energy from the Augusta Mayor to stay on course for keeping Cal Ripken on the Ga side of the River smells to high heaven.

....there is a skunk in the mix....I hope the details do a reveal.

If Augusta does lose baseball to North Augusta, then the Augusta elected officials up to the Governor's office(*giving the riverfront property to GHSU--big mistake) should suffer the consequences.

Its been known for a long time that Cal Ripken would leave Augusta if a new stadium in a better location was not prooffered...a pure business decision...and poor leadership from Augusta officials!

The Ga/Augusta so-called leaders are just that..."so-called leaders"....wait to see who benefits in this transaction on both the Ga. and SC sides of the Savannah River.

Riverman1
93725
Points
Riverman1 12/15/12 - 11:26 am
5
1
Talk About Pedestrian Bridge

The way Augusta is so ready to build a pedestrian bridge from the parking garage to the Marriott, watch out or they will build one from the stadium on the other side of the river to the Marriott.

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