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North Augusta plan is work in progress

Wednesday, Dec. 19, 2012 7:06 PM
Last updated Thursday, Dec. 20, 2012 1:23 AM
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NORTH AUGUSTA — Of­ficials say the North Augusta riverfront development announced Wednesday faces several challenges.

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North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover speaks during Wednesday's announcement of plans for a development on the Savannah River with a hotel, baseball stadium, and retail and residential space.   EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
EMILY ROSE BENNETT/STAFF
North Augusta City Administrator Todd Glover speaks during Wednesday's announcement of plans for a development on the Savannah River with a hotel, baseball stadium, and retail and residential space.

At this point, Mayor Lark Jones said, the plan has a long way to go before ground will be broken.

“From A to Z, we’re at step C,” Jones said.

The approval process is expected to be lengthy and will include many opportunities for public input, said Todd Glover, the city administrator.

“We have lots of details to work through,” he said after the meeting.

Though the proposal is a work in progress, the goal is to have baseball games played in the new complex on opening day 2015, former Ripken Baseball Vice President Jeff Eiseman said.

As for implementing the proposal, it’s an all-or-none type of deal, Jones said.

“One thing can’t happen unless all things happen,” he said.

The city has a backup plan, in case the proposal doesn’t go through, that was approved on its third reading Monday night during the North Augusta City Council meeting.

The council approved a development agreement between the city and North Augusta Riverfront Co. LLC.

In that plan, developers would build two 4,000-square-foot, multistory buildings that would house businesses such as restaurants and retail shops.

The city would build parts of the roads and contribute 25 percent toward the parking lot.

Similarities between the Project Jackson stadium proposal and the development agreement include the Family Y building and the riverfront park.

“The park will be there regardless,” Glover said.

During the council meet­ing, Jones likened the park to Henry C. Chambers Waterfront Park in Beaufort, S.C., and the Battery & White Point Gardens in Charleston, S.C.

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