GreenJackets sale pending league approval, investors say

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 10:57 AM
Last updated 11:32 PM
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Ripken Baseball has an agreement to sell the Augusta GreenJackets to an investment group, a decision announced in conjunction with moving the team to a proposed development in North Augusta.

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Augusta GreenJackets representative Jeff Eiseman (left) stands by as Chris Schoen, the managing principle of Greenstone Properties, speaks during the announcement of a major multi-use development proposal known as Project Jackson during the Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce A.M. Connection meeting.  EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
Augusta GreenJackets representative Jeff Eiseman (left) stands by as Chris Schoen, the managing principle of Greenstone Properties, speaks during the announcement of a major multi-use development proposal known as Project Jackson during the Greater North Augusta Chamber of Commerce A.M. Connection meeting.

Agon Sports & Enter­tain­ment, headed by former Rip­ken Base­ball Vice President Jeff Eiseman and Greenstone Properties’ Chris Schoen, will purchase the team with the intention of moving to the Hammond’s Ferry development in North Augusta.

Eiseman said the two groups have agreed on the sale and are awaiting approval by Major League Baseball and Minor League Baseball. The sale is expected to be completed in four to six weeks, but Eiseman would not disclose the purchase price.

Ripken Baseball, headed by Hall of Fame player Cal Ripken Jr. and his brother Billy, purchased the GreenJackets in 2005 from Mike and Jeffrey Savit.

“We have built wonderful relationships in Augusta and want to see baseball succeed in the region,” Cal Ripken Jr. said in a prepared statement. “The way I see it, we aren’t leaving Augusta, simply changing roles. Multi-purpose development along the river has always been exciting to me and I look forward to the success of our new ownership group.”

The team’s new stadium will be a part of the proposed “Project Jackson,” a large-scale development in Hammond’s Ferry. The proposal has the new park overlooking the Savannah River and sitting alongside the 13th Street bridge.

“We hope to be in the new park for Opening Day in 2015,” Eiseman said. “If everything stays on the timeline, we hope to be playing baseball on the riverfront that year.”

Eiseman said the team will remain the Augusta GreenJackets, although changes will be made with the move across the river. The team will play at Lake Olmstead Stadium until the new park is complete.

“Augusta is a region,” he said. “There are ways to incorporate North Augusta, to pay homage to the area. We aren’t going to tip our hat on that, but we plan to use this team to create a bridge between communities.”

Agon will use a group of “15 to 16 investors,” Eiseman said, based in Georgia and South Carolina. Eiseman said the group will promote not only the baseball team but also other events at the proposed park, hoping to target more than 200 dates a year at the venue.

“We knew Lake Olmstead was not a long-term solution, and we were always looking for a solution at Ripken,” Eiseman said. “We felt what was best for the team in the long term was local ownership, to keep the team here. We want to see baseball succeed here.”

Eiseman said the San Francisco Giants, the team the GreenJackets are affiliated with in the Class A South Atlantic League, have been updated during the negotiations and are excited for the sale and move.

The proposal includes a parking deck for the stadium, in addition to retail stores connected to the outside of the park. During Wednesday’s presentation, Schoen cited new technology in stadium lighting that prevents neighboring houses and stores from being flooded by lights during night games.

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Sweet son
10785
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Sweet son 12/19/12 - 12:12 pm
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0
Ask and Ye shall receive!

Comment from the other article wanted more info on the LLC and the Chronicle has delivered. Time for the neighbors in NA to speak up. Hope there isn't a struggle like the one between Augusta Prep and Springlakes over noise and stadium lights.

rmwhitley
5547
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rmwhitley 12/19/12 - 12:40 pm
0
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How long
Unpublished

has Augusta been confused about building a new downtown stadium? I guess North Augusta isn't as wishy-washy.

Little Lamb
47241
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Little Lamb 12/19/12 - 03:12 pm
1
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Optimists

It's always good to hope for the best, but I say to expect 200 paid events a year for the ballpark is a bit optimistic.

...point to ponder
760
Points
...point to ponder 12/19/12 - 10:26 pm
0
2
Needs to be on the former

Needs to be on the former Golf hall of fame site.......on the Ga side....(*based on the comments from the proposed neighbors in North Augusta...it ain't welcome.)

itsanotherday1
45610
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itsanotherday1 12/20/12 - 01:04 am
2
1
I'm excited at the prospects.

I'm excited at the prospects. The gridlocked commission can't/won't act, so someone else running with the ball is great. I foresee a Birmingham in the making; the downtown a rundown mess while the burbs thrive. Let the race hustlers have it.

countyman
20720
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countyman 12/20/12 - 02:18 am
2
3
If the fitness center, Aldi,

If the fitness center, Aldi, Taxslayer, exhibition hall, YMCA, and CPC building in Columbia County and the $1 billion Bridgestone, two hotels in Aiken, Sams, Fresh Market , and Project Jackson(if approved)in Aiken County equal thriving?

What is the correct term for the $1 billion NSA, $76 million Medical Commons, $115 million Rockwood, $100 million Cancer Center, $172 million Starbucks, General Perry Smith Parkway/Augusta Regional Industrial Park, Walmart neighborhood Market, Home2 Suites by Hilton, Residential Inn by Marriott, Holiday Inn Express, Walmart, etc in Richmond County? I'm not even mentioning the future amenities coming to the 44 acre site at I-20/Walton Way Extension, Wheeler Town Park, or Village at Riverwatch.

I didn't realize Birmingham had a 17 acre site downtown where student dorms, research buildings, performing arts center, etc was going. The people who hate on Augusta will soon have to come back down to earth. The Village at Riverwatch and Augusta Corporate Park both have big announcements coming soon.

seenitB4
91139
Points
seenitB4 12/20/12 - 07:30 am
4
1
Do yall notice something....

Instead of dealing with the Augusta politics .....the money folks are jumping ship & moving like a freight train outta town....going across the river---going into Columbia county...just like the great Atlanta area.....because of the stupidity of downtown decisions (Atlanta I mean) the Northside grew with outstanding malls---great restaurants---civic centers---clean bus lines---safe & desirable neighborhoods----I see this as a win win for the folks in the CSRA.........I mean really.....how many times are you going to beat your head against a brick wall ....I can see the National area becoming the hot spot of town....jmo....& moving oooonnnnnn dowwwwn...

countyman
20720
Points
countyman 12/20/12 - 09:14 am
1
2
If the money folks are moving

The money is still located in the same areas of the CSRA. If the money folks are moving outta town?

Why is the real estate in the CBD higher than North Augusta, and closing in on Martinez?

Why is the real estate in West Augusta higher than Martinez?

The comments are funny, because the Viillage at Riverwatch, Augusta Exchange, Wheeler Town Park, and the 44 acres at Walton Way/Extension are located in West Augusta.

The Starbucks deal equals more than the entire proposed North Augusta development(private & public money included). It's $172 million by itself(ALL PRIVATE MONEY), and located in Richmond County.

seenitB4
91139
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seenitB4 12/20/12 - 10:16 am
1
1
Don't hold your breath ctyman

Or the passing train will leave you stranded....it is leaving the station as we speak....some of the $$$ folks are getting older & passing on...just like we all do in life...we can't be here forever yaknow.....there will be a newness & greatness in the burbs.....just bursting with beauty---they will be the new "cool" place to be....sure they will still care for the history of Augusta...just like we still love the Fox in Atlanta.......but it won't be the hot spot or the place to be seen & heard..... yaknow the ole saying....You can't stop progress......well really you can't!!!!

redwolfturf
2
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redwolfturf 12/20/12 - 02:31 pm
0
0
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