Project Jackson marches forward with design firm
NORTH AUGUSTA — North Augusta City Council passed unanimously a resolution on Monday to select Odell Associates Inc. of Charlotte, N.C. as the firm to “provide design services for the development of a multipurpose stadium to include minor league baseball for the City.”
The partnership is dependent on both sides reaching a “satisfactory contractual arrangement for such services.”
Mayor Lark Jones said he was told that Council's ranking system picked Odell Associates unanimously. The firm is nearing completion of BB&T Park, a stadium in Charlotte that will be the home of the Charlotte Knights, the Triple-A affiliate of the Chicago White Sox.
“Part of Council's approving this is we can move forward into the finalization of the footprint of the multipurpose stadium so the other parts of Project Jackson can be finalized,” said Todd Glover, city administrator. “We have made it clear we are not going to spend money designing a stadium without the other things in place.”
The resolution was deemed necessary for the project to move forward.
Glover likened the current situation to that of a relay race.
The tax increment financing district, or TIF, was established by the City, and the baton was passed to the developer.
However, the developer cannot get the hotel, restaurants, apartments and other businesses to commit without them knowing where they will be located, Glover said. The City will not move forward with the project unless the private portion, $101 million, is locked in, he said.
“That's why you need the footprint; until we set the footprint, the developer can't get other entities to commit until they know where they are going to be,” he said. “We can't tell them until we know where the stadium is going to be. Then the developer can finalize with his private portion and then we move on with the rest.”
If the City cannot reach an agreement with Odell Associates, then Council can pass another resolution to move to the second vendor.
In other business, the second reading of the City's ordinance to borrow $13 million for Phase 1 of its waterworks system improvements passed unanimously. The reservoir will hold enough raw water to supply the City for several days in case of an emergency with the Savannah River water supply.
Parks, Recreation and Leisure Services Director Rick Meyer had John Felak, Lauren Virgo, Jodi Cronk and others recognized for the awards won at the South Carolina Festival & Event Association. Ricky Jones, who works in the City's IT department, was also recognized as the employee of the quarter.
Scott Rodgers is the news editor at The North Augusta Star and has been with the paper since January 2013. Follow him on Twitter @NAStarRodgers.